Irish Nat AGM Report –


The 65th AGM of the Irish National Flying Club was held in the Lagan Valley Leisure Plex on Saturday, 28th February. The attendance was approximately the same as last year and the President, Eugene Fitzgerald, after accepting a few apologies asked the members to stand for a minute’s silence in respect for those members who had died during the past year. He paid tribute in particular to the following who had been great supporters of the Irish National Flying Club, Billy Ingle, Jim Erwin, Seamus Lehane, Paul McLoughlin, Johnny Richardson, the 1999 King’s Cup winner Oliver McGillivary, Martin Russell a former secretary of the INFC and all others who passed away in the past year.

The secretary Trevor Topping was invited to read the minutes of the previous AGM which were passed on a show of hands. The Convoyer’s race reports were on the table and available to the members. There were no questions raised in respect of the reports. The Secretary then gave his report as follows.


Secretary’s Report for the 2014 season.


“I would like to extend sympathy to all the families of members and any relatives who passed away since our last AGM on behalf of the Irish National Flying Club.

The 2014 membership totalled 1,992 with 755 members in the south and 1237 in the north. It is good to see the number of members near 2000 and I appeal to all members to promote the club and what it has to offer.  The number of members who resigned totalled 137 and new members totalled 248. Total prize and pool money paid out amounted to £117,070.00 over the six races.

I wish to thank on behalf of the members the following sponsors for the 2014 season Bamford’s Top Flight, Frazer’s Animal Feeds., Versele-Laga, Bucktons, Veterinary Services for Birds and Sawyers & Co. Estate Agents. Thanks also to the British Homing World who give a discount on the publishing rates for all results.

The sponsorship prizes are greatly appreciated by the club members.

The club had  like all other organisations a mixed seasons racing with some races proving challenging , the St. Allouestre King’ s Cup and Quimper Friendship national were very disappointing. The task of race advisors David Black, Tom Marshall and Willie Hore is to try and have good racing by avoiding poor weather, sometimes the race outcome is not what we expect or want. But I can assure all members that for each race the weather reports are checked and professional advice sought. Race markings and race dates will continue to be changed to avoid long holdovers. I congratulate P.& B. McEvoy partnership

of Castlebellingham on their King’s Cup win and all other winners of national races and prize winners. Ronnie Johnston arranged the annual prize distribution to a very high standard once again. The awards were presented by Mr. Ollie Gittins of Bude Cornwall and the club’s press officer Mr. Brendan McLoughlin.

Two Hall of Fame awards were presented and fourteen Merit Awards were presented at the annual dinner. Due to many requests Mr. Sid. Collins is arranging a presentation evening in January 2016 to present the Merit Awards and incorporating a panel of leading fanciers.

I wish to thank the committees of the East Down Combine and Ulster Federation for assistance with transport during the 2014 season along with Paddy Cullen. On behalf of the members I wish to thank all of those committee members and members who helped at the race markings, clock settings, checking’s and race controllers. Jim, Vincent and Brian McCrory for all their assistance. Also thanks to the ETS company representatives for assistance at race markings. The club web site was once again put to good use in 2014, keeping members informed of changes to race markings and provisional results on race day. Full results were available three or four days after the race and thanks to Ian Gill for his assistance. The appeal’s committee of the club had one appeal to hear during the year and thank you for the difficult but necessary role you have within the club. Every member of the club should have full confidence in the appeal’s procedure as the members of this committee will ensure any appeal is given due consideration and dealt with professionally.

I also thank the officials, the committee members, press officers, clock station officials and any other members who helped me during the past season. The 2015 season is fast approaching and I appeal for help at the marking centre if only for a few hours as those members of the committee who faithfully attend the race marking are struggling to cope.

I hope we all have a successful 2015 season”.

Annual Accounts: No questions had been asked prior to the meeting regarding the annual accounts and Ron McKelvey was called to give the Auditors report before the accounts were adopted. Mr McKelvey noted that 2014 was an exceptional year with a profit on the races of £7032 compared to a loss the previous year of £4850. He also pointed out the increase of membership fees and increased birdage despite some bad races before the National races.

Election of Officers: All offices were declared vacant and Eugene Fitzgerald conducted the election. There were no changes at the top with the President, Senior Vice President and Junior Vice President had all completed their second year of a three year term in office.

Officers for 2015 are: Patron Ronnie Johnston, President Eugene Fitzgerald, Senior Vice-President David Black, Junior Vice-President Clifford Browne, Chairman David Black, Secretary Trevor Topping, Treasurer, D Mawhinney, Auditor Ron McKelvey, Press Officer Brendan McLoughlin. INFC Management Committee 2015:

RPRA representatives: R Stevenson Dromara, W Sawyers Banbridge, R Duddy Ballyclare, L Woodside Ballyclare, J Serplus Laurelvale, C O’Hare Ballyholland, P Smith Ind South, C Lyons Hillsborough & Maze, G Delaney Dromore, G McDowell Kells, W Reynolds Ballymena, D Suitters Doagh, T Griffiths Eastway, P Dunlop Edgarstown, K Shannon Coalisland; INFC Appeals Committee: W Knowles Kingsmoss, J Burrows Eastway, W Kelly St Pauls:

IHU representatives: L McCavery Annalong, B McLoughlin Annalong, G Gaw, East End, A McFarland East End, T Marshall Newtownbreda, B Marshall Newtownbreda, A Milliken Lagan Valley, M Irvine Tyrella, T O’Reilly Andersonstown, R Taylor Shankill, R Trimble Ballynahinch, F Gilmore Comber, C Browne Bangor, P McKeown Dundalk, B O’Leary Cork; INFC Appeals Committee representatives: J Albert Ballylesson, PJ Corcoran Balbriggan, P Harford Balbriggan.

Race Advisers: D Black Dromara, W Hore Wexford, and T Marshall Newtownbreda:

The position of the race convoyer was left to the committee to complete.

INFC Charity Show report: Samuel Briggs, the Show secretary submitted the INFC Charity Show report and said that it was great to see pigeons back in the show again. There were 21 trade stands in attendance and the numbers attending were up on the previous year. Samuel thanked Helen and Bertie Marshall for the work they do with the raffle which saw an increase from 2013. The Charity Auction saw £6,550 raised for 36 pigeons. He thanked Jimmy Hughes for looking after the finances of the show, John Edgar and John O’Neill for the show pens, Tom Marshall for their storage, Jim Braniff for the transport and the judges who gave up their time. £7,000 will be presented to various charities over the coming months. The 2015 Show will be held on Saturday 5th December.

There was a short discussion on drug testing, and liberations before the meeting closed at 3.10pm.

INFC Race programme 2015: Skibbereen Old Bird Inland National Tuesday 26th May; Sennen Cove Yearling National Wednesday 10th June; Grand National Kings Cup St Allouestre Friday3rd July; Friendship National Quimper Friday 10th July; Penzance Young Bird National Wednesday 2nd September; Skibbereen Young Bird National Saturday 19th September:

The next committee meeting will be held in Lisburn & District HPS on Monday 16th March at 7.30pm.

I have attached some more photos from the Annual Prize Night.

Brendan McLoughlin INFC Press Officer



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About the author

Willie Reynolds

Covering the sport in Ireland for several years, scribe for both BHW & RP and a number of local newspapers including the News Letter (Farming Life Supplement) each Wednesday. Secretary of Ballymena & District for a number of years and currently PO for the Mighty NIPA & INFC. Watch out for the many articles/news items penned by HOMER.

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