FORAS hold 2015 AGM

Just days after celebrating the fifth anniversary of being awarded a licence to play in the League of Ireland, Friends of the Rebel Army Society (FORAS) held its 2015 AGM in the Metropole Hotel on Thursday, February 26th.

The meeting kicked off with a Questions & Answers session led by first-team manager John Caulfield, with over 85 FORAS trustees as well as the outgoing FORAS board in attendance. John thanked everyone for their support during 2014, but said there was plenty of hard work ahead over the coming 12 months. He said he is hopeful of challenging for honours, but warned against complacency.

Following Opening Remarks, Darren O’Keeffe presented the Secretary’s Report. The minutes from the 2014 AGM and GM were reviewed, adopted and seconded. Darren explained that a huge amount of work has gone into bringing the FORAS membership up to date, and these efforts would continue. There are currently nearly 400 active members of the trust, and plans are being put in place for a new membership drive.

Pat Lyons was next to the podium to present the Chairman’s Report. He noted that a number of working groups – including the Marketing, Online, Infrastructure / Grants, 30th Anniversary, EU Project and Fundraising groups – had worked tirelessly throughout the year, and the Board was grateful for their time.

On the field, the club secured second place in the Airtricity League Premier Division at the end of 2014, securing European football for the coming season. The club’s U19 squad retained the Elite Premier Division title, while an affiliation with Cork City Women’s FC had been put in place. Dave Alton, from the club’s Marketing group, spoke briefly about the work done in 2014 and confirmed there were exciting plans in place for the new season.

Wyon Stansfeld presented the Treasurer’s Report. He confirmed that while there had been a significant boost in income during 2014, expenditure had also increased despite careful cost management. The club had also to regain ground after a difficult year in 2013 but was now in a much more satisfactory position. Wyon expressed satisfaction that updated financial procedures were now in place and taking effect, and praised the efforts of CEO Tim Murphy and accountants Whelan Accountancy for their efforts over the previous 12 months.

Vice-chairman John Kennedy presented a summary of all Community-related activities. Over 1600 young people enjoyed the Family Enclosure experience in 2014, with an average 30% return custom following these initial visits. John also revealed that the Half Time games were once again proving hugely popular, and that Éanna Buckley had worked to try and accommodate all requests. Relations with Supporters Direct Europe and other clubs and groups across Europe continue to grow, with chairman Pat Lyons’ participation in a panel discussion on sustainable finance in football at Wembley last July a particular highlight.

The meeting heard that Mick Ring, John Kennedy, Erika Ní Thuama and Collin Power were standing down from the Board at the end of their three-year term. John Kennedy had expressed a wish to return and he along with Mike Derham and Derek Lynch were deemed elected to the Board. Niamh O’Mahony has since been co-opted to the vacant seventh seat.

“FORAS recently marked the five-year anniversary of being awarded a licence to participate in the League of Ireland, and the presentations and discussion at this year’s AGM demonstrated that the ideals behind and ethos of our supporters trust are as strong as ever,” chairman Pat Lyons said. “There will always be plenty of work for the FORAS board and its working groups to get through. However, it’s important that we take the time to stop and reflect on what has been achieved, to say our Thank Yous and reaffirm our priorities each and every year at our AGM.”

For more information or to become a member, email [email protected].

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