A Report on the 69th AGM of An Taisce 2017

1st October 2017

Dear member, for those of you unable to attend the AGM in Dublin last month you may be interested to hear how it went. Please see the report below.

9th September 2017

An Taisce’s head office was buzzing in the weeks before the AGM. There were notices to be distributed, the Annual Report to be finalized and printed, the membership database to be updated, sandwiches ordered, the Halls to be prepared – and all without an office manager or chairman. But on the day the Tailors’ Hall was looking great. With work finished on the brick work, the door repainted and the cobbles weeded members could enjoy the 300 year old building with its fine proportions seeped in light and history.

More than 60 members came to the AGM, including many old timers and loyal supporters as well as staff members and newer people. The Great Hall was full, ready and waiting for the usual business of the day, which is generally pretty mundane.

Firstly however we were introduced to Father Sean McDonagh, our new President. Although elected last year events inhibited Sean from taking a full part before but we were pleased to hear him speak of his understanding of the vital role that protection of the environment has for our well being. A profile is included in this ezine.

The Annual Report, the Statement of Accounts, the appointment of auditors and the election of members were all adopted with little or no comment: we then moved on to the motions that had been proposed by Michael Smith and Emma Gileece.

This all took some time. Michael Smith spoke to his motions, critical of the Board’s failure to appoint a Director or to ensure the council spent most of their meetings discussing environmental issues, as well as a number of smaller points of practice. The Board’s written response to each point was distributed to members in the Hall and read out. (these can be supplied by email on request to info@antaisce.org) Mostly Smith’s motions fell on a show of hands, except where the board expressed agreement on the basis that the looked for actions were already in normal practice.

However a key motion was regarding the potential separation of the Education Unit, which wishes to establish a separate charity in order, they believe, to better meet new rules of Governance. The Board has spent a lot of time considering this. This is undoubtedly a strategic decision that must be made in the interest of An Taisce and therefore properly a function of the Board. However, mindful of the concern of some members that education is a core function of the organization currently met by the Education Unit, the board changed their original decision and reported that any substantial divestment decision by board shall be ratified at an EGM. Following some contributions from the floor and with the EGM agreed, Smith’s motion fell.

Rather late in the day, with many members already left, Ian Lumley gave a particularly fascinating presentation of the past and future of An Taisce’s properties held in trust. It is our intention to capture Ian’s unique perspective on pod casts during the year so that you can all enjoy listening to his informed perspective.