RPRA (Irish Region) AGM 2022 –

RPRA (Irish Region) AGM 2022 –

Irish Region (RPRA) AGM In Ballymac Hotel

The local (Irish Region) of the RPRA held their annual meeting for the first time in Ballymac Hotel just outside Lisburn in County Antrim on Saturday 5th February, the usual poor attendance can only get better and will probably have to improve. Any member wishing to be on the Irish Nat FC Committee were requested to attend the RPRA (Irish Region) meeting to be nominated or have an apology placed. The Secretary had sent communication to each member club and meeting advert was placed in the BHW.

Those attending the meeting included S G Briggs President, J Serplus Vice President, J Burrows Vice President, W Reynolds Ballymena, W Knowles Kingsmoss, C O’Hare Ballyholland, G Robinson Carrick, N Higginson Ballyclare, Alan Larkin Wilton Cross, Ron McKelvey Newry and Paul Gault Kingsmoss.

Apologies: Norman Lewis, Arnold Thompson, Robin Duddy, Campbell McGrugan and Gerald Delaney.

The President Sammy Briggs opened the meeting by welcoming the members and he asked them firstly to stand in memory of those members and friends deceased in the past year. Since the previous AGM held in 2019 (no meeting in 2020 due to Covid 19 restrictions) with many others we have lost Sammy Thompson, Robert Reid, Davy Suitters and Robert Service.

In his opening address Sam gave a review of the past season and congratulated the various winners both locally, and, to those who had overall success and were presented awards at the recent Blackpool Show. John Connolly from Ballymoney HPS won the RPRA over 450 Miles Long Distance award for 2021 and the Coronation Challenge Cup. Mullen Bros from Blackwatertown WE won the RPRA Young Fancier Long Distance award for 2021 and the Major Len Lewis Memorial Trophy. Keelie Wright from the Lurgan Social has been collecting awards for several years now and the Montage of several of the winners was published on the front cover of this seasons Blackpool Show edition, well done Keelie, hard work and great rewards. This year she lifts the Intermediate Young Fancier Short Distance, 1st Place Trophy, Medallion & £50. The local awards were presented at the annual NIPA Ladies Night, full list below.

Irish Region (RPRA) Awards 2021 – Talbenny & Penzance (Individual Bird)

SECT A – Jimmy Hanson, Coleraine Premier HPS Vel 1274; SECT B – W & J Smyth, Ballymena & District HPS Vel 1314; SECT C – Gary McKenna, Eastway Vel 1291; SECT D – Joe Ward, Glen Vel 1282; SECT E – G & C Simmons, Edgarstown Vel 1311; SECT F – McCartan & Woosdides, Grossgar Vel 1251; SECT G – Ron Williamson, Newry & District Vel 1332; SECT H – Ronnie Witherow Limavady Vel 1160. Overall winner and the Irish Region Trophy won by Ron Williamson, Newry & District Vel 1332. Note the correction for Section H. 

Irish Region Mileage Awards 2021

0-250 Miles won by C O’Hare & Daughter, Ballyholland, Blue Cock GB20B-29037; 251-450 Miles won by C O’Hare &B Daughter, Ballyholland, Mealy Hen GB20B-29039; 450 Miles + won by John Connolly, Ballymoney HPS.

Best Y B Performance 2021 – Bingham & Seaton, Ligoniel, Blue Hen GB21C-32018. Best O B Performance 2021 – C O’Hare & Daughter, Ballyholland, Blue Cock GB20B-29037. Young Fancier of the Year won by Croskery Sisters, Comber Central.

Young Fancier Mileage Awards 2021 – Young Fancier over 450 Miles won by Mullen Bros of Blackwatertown West End HPS.

The minutes of the previous AGM (2019) were read by Secretary Noel Higginson and adopted as a true record. Next item was the Statement of Accounts and auditor Ron McKelvey gave a report, it was easy to set out as the books had been well kept by Mr & Mrs Reid. Ron gave a very detailed report both on the income from fees etc and changes that will be made ahead which will be of further benefit. A donation was made to the NIPA added to a donation from RPRA to purchase a new trophy to celebrate their 75th Anniversary. Funds will probably have to be set aside to renew the Region Trophy which was in poor condition and would cost nearly as much to fix as a new one. The financial report was very good, and the meeting decided to update the Secretary expenses which had not been changed since he took over the role.  The accounts were passed.

Chairman Cormac O’Hare gave a report from the RPRA Council meetings, some queries had been raised and sorted and good to report that our Irish Delegates play a very important part in the proceedings, as good as ever I can remember. The complication of the local region hearing appeals regarding NIPA has I think been sorted, the Armagh case is to be heard at the Council Meeting in February. There being no other 2021business the meeting moved on to the election of officials for 2022.

The following officials were elected for 2022: Life Vice-Presidents – S G Briggs, J Serplus, W Knowles, and A C McGrugan. President S G Briggs, Vice Presidents J Serplus, C O’Hare and G Delaney. Chairman C O’Hare. Secretary/Treasurer Noel Higginson, 44 Green View, Parkgate, Ballyclare, Co Antrim BT39 OJP. Tel: (028) 94 439481. Mobile: 07518 748717. Email: noelhigginson@hotmail.com

Councillors to RPRA: S G Briggs NIPA, and C O’Hare NIPA with Reserve A Larkin Wilton Cross. Auditor: Ron McKelvey. Press Officer: W Reynolds Ballymena.

Irish Region Committee includes the following: S G Briggs Lisburn, W Reynolds Ballymena, J Burrows Eastway, C O’Hare Ballyholland, G Delaney Dromore, Robin Service Ballymena, G Robinson Carrick, J Conlane Kingswood, Alan Larkin Wilton Cross, Paul Larkin Portadown & Drumcree, J Serplus Laurelvale and Robert Turkington Doagh & District.

INFC (RPRA) Management Committee: W Reynolds Ballymena, P Dunlop Edgarstown, C O’Hare Ballyholland, J Serplus Laurelvale, P Smith Individual Dublin, R Duddy Ballyclare, A Thompson Ballyclare, C Lyons Hills & Maze, E McGimpsey Ards, N Lewis Doagh, A Larkin Wilton Cross, G Simmons Edgarstown. Robin Service Ballymena and Robert Turkington Doagh & District.

INFC (RPRA) Appeals Committee: J Burrows Eastway, Alan Larkin Wilton Cross and W Knowles Kingsmoss.

No new clubs but resignations from New Antrim Amalgamated, Chimney Corner and Springvale Social.

After the tea break the meeting proceeded with the General & Appeals Committee and Delegates.

The minutes of the previous meeting October 2021 were read and passed no matters arising. Main discussion for this part was about the RPRA Agenda Resolution’s, took a bit of time but we got there in the end. Support 22/1, 22/2, 22/4, 22/5, 22/6, 22/18. They will vote against 22/3, 22/7, 22/8, 22/9, 22/10, 22/11, 22/12, 22/13. 22/14, 22/15, 22/16, 22/17, 22/19.

The School application packs for the RPRA One Loft race were distributed.

Affiliation Fees for 2022 – Clubs, Single Members, Individual Members and, each Partnership Member all £12.00. Must be paid through one Society Cheque and made payable to Royal Pigeon Racing Association – Irish Region. Societies in arrears at 1st March 2022 will be called upon to pay an extra 50p per Member and £10.00 for Club. Willie Reynolds PO.


RPRA members and affiliated organisations are able to pay membership subscriptions and order rings through our online ordering system.

Click on the image on the right to begin. As with the automated transfer system, individual members will need to enter their own RPRA loft number and the e-mail address that we have recorded for them in our membership database.

Club Secretaries may also log in to the system and pay subscriptions etc for their club, but for security reasons will need a password in addition to their club number and e-mail address. (This password is the same as that you use to access the RPRA results program.) If your club is not already registered, you can obtain a password by e-mailing passwords@rpra.org – please note that it may take up to 72 hours to receive a reply.

To pay subscriptions as a Club Secretary: once signed in you will need to select the black ‘Subscriptions’ button at top right of the screen. Then from the drop-down box select each loft for which you want to pay subs, followed by clicking on the ‘Select’ button. You will need to follow this process for each loft/member. Once you have selected all of the relevant lofts and clarified in the tick box if you are paying the club fee, click the green ‘Checkout’ button and follow the payment process. You will receive an automated e-mail confirming payment.

If you think that we may not have your e-mail address in our database, please send a message to details@rpra.org – remember to include your RPRA loft number, name and address. You will receive an automated reply, and we will update your details as soon as we can. It may take up to 72 hours for the update to take effect.

You can still order rings through the post with a form and cheque, of course: click on the appropriate image below to download the form, and complete and send it to RPRA HQ with the appropriate payment.

Southern Area Hospice Newry Charity Auction update. A fantastic amount raised today.

On behalf of the organisers of the above auction I would just like to say a massive thank you to all the fanciers who donated kits of six x 2022 young birds which were sold at our recent online auction.

We also would like to thank Mr Steven McGarry for all the time and effort he put into making the auction such a great success. A very professional job in the way and manner, in which he presented the details online. To date the amount raised stands at £17,675 via sale and donations.

If anyone would like to make a donation, to help us reach around £18,000, please send your donations to Diamond Carson 11 Mountpleasant Banbridge BT324DD all cheque’s made payable to Southern Area Hospice Newry. A final figure will be published as soon as all lots are paid, and photo shoot and presentation will be arranged. Once again thank you all for your support. Diamond.

Windsor Social (Coleraine) – Old bird 2021 results – 1st A & M Boyle   60 points   7 race wins, 2nd R McCann 35 points 3 race wins, 3rd R & J Parke 26 points 2 race wins, 4th B R Watton 17 points   2 race win, 5th k Glass 6 points   1 race win, 6th Winky Donaghy 4 points 1 race win

Well done A M Boyle. Runner-up Raymond McCann. 3rd place R & J Parke. Ps I miss a couple results due to them being on the old pc which is broken hopefully that’s them all now updated.

Young bird 2021 – 1st R & J Parke 47 3 wins, 2nd. A & M Boyle.  32 4 wins, 3rd Adrian Henry. 6   1 win, 4th B R Watton. 5 1 win, 5th S Gage.  4. 1 win.

Coleraine Premier HPS – Building Fund Auction on behalf of Coleraine Premier HPS. A superb draft of youngsters from top class fanciers will be auctioned on Pigeon Craic by Stephen McGarry. Details to follow ASAP.

Latest News – I understand the Cullybackey HPS have returned to the MAC after conducting a democratic vote, that’s good news and for the first run of voting re the NIPA Young Bird programme the Ligoniel & District one for Mass Liberations all the way secured just short of 50% in the overall vote – 56 clubs returned voting papers.

A further update on the voting for the young bird race program. The Final tally is as follows.

Programme    A    112 votes, Programme B 94 votes, Programme C 348 votes, Programme    D        153 votes. Total Votes cast 707, 58 clubs returned voting papers

The number of votes required to obtain 50% is 353, no programme received 353 however  programe C was just a few short of that total.

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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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