||Last Updated: 16 Feb 2022 - 7:57:54 PM
Revealed in an article in the Irish Times earlier this week 'Cycling Ireland has admitted sending “false quotations” to the Government in a claim for a €52,100 grant that led the Department of Sport to suspend its access to capital funding for 12 months.'
According to Cycling Ireland, they went on to say 'it had received almost €10 million in public funding in the five years to 2020 and said it had introduced a new procurement policy as a result of the affair.'
In response to the media declarations, the Cycling Ireland president Liam Collins, on Friday issued a message to all Cycling Ireland members outlining the seriousness of the situation.
Message to the members of Cycling Ireland
You will be aware that certain matters relating to Cycling Ireland have recently been highlighted in the media. It is very important, as the organisation responsible for promoting and supporting the sport of cycling in Ireland that we take time to recognise the issues that the Board, management and staff of Cycling Ireland are now dealing with.
Having recently been elected as President of Cycling Ireland, I can state with certainty that Board relations are far from ideal and there appears to be little prospect of matters improving in the near future. It is a regretful situation, but it is a fact that the members of Cycling Ireland are not being served by a unified, cohesive Board. Losing a valued board member who has the best interests of the sport at heart should make us all sit up and reflect on the negative impact that the current issues are having on Board members. I would fear for the long-term mental health of all involved, if matters are not addressed and continue to carry on in their current vein. We need to look to a solution that will address the situation; create a cohesive unified Board and encourage stability ahead of looking to a positive future for Cycling Ireland and the sport.
Consequently, I am now requesting that the three ‘appointed’ Board members Brendan Tallon, Marcus Dowling and Emma Hunt-Duffy resign from the Board with immediate effect. This will leave four vacant appointed Board positions and I will ask Sport Ireland to assist Cycling Ireland in selecting four members to the Board of Cycling Ireland, as soon as possible. Furthermore, I would ask Sport Ireland to use this opportunity to help Cycling Ireland address the current gender imbalance issue and bring Cycling Ireland into line with the stated objectives of a minimum of 40% female board members.
As soon as feasible, I invite Connacht Cycling to nominate a member of their current committee to replace the position vacated by Noel Mulroy. Furthermore, I am politely requesting that no club, Cycling Ireland Board member or any other party makes any representation to Connacht Cycling on anyone’s behalf.
These actions would result in five new board members being appointed, which would both strengthen and enhance the governance of the Board. I will also commit to the best of my ability to protecting their appointments up to the AGM.
As a next step, I will ask the remaining five elected members on the current board including myself to each resign ahead of the next scheduled AGM in November 2022. This will not preclude any of these individuals from standing for re-election at the AGM; and in fact, it is appropriate that they should if they wish to do so. `
The request for the resignation of board members is in no way a reflection on anyone individually but is solely in the interests of Cycling Ireland. I will also be resigning prior to the AGM for the same reasons that I am inviting other directors to resign.
Ahead of the appointment of the five new directors - four by Sport Ireland and one by Connacht Cycling - the Board will not be involved in or interfere with the day-to-day operations of Cycling Ireland and will leave the CEO and management team run the business.
The major priority for the newly established board will be to fully implement the recommendations of the KOSI report as soon as possible.
I believe that the issues recently highlighted in the media should have run their course by the AGM, at which point an informed debate can be had on all matters. Installing five new directors will ensure stability and impartiality in the interim period. I have a grave concern that if we do not act swiftly and address the matters as I have noted, that the financial cost to the federation could be significant. But the real costs could be far more than financial.
An alternative, which has been suggested by one club is that an EGM is called in the short-term. I have no objection to an EGM, although the more sensible approach may be to follow the plan of action outlined above, which would ensure we arrive at an AGM fully informed.
While the impact of the current situation on certain Board members’ health, all of whom are volunteers, should not be underestimated, it is also having a negative impact on the health of our staff and could lead to further resignations.
In the interest of Cycling Ireland and all involved, I am therefore calling for a period of stability ahead of the AGM.
Cycling Ireland President
More details in the Irish Times report here
[ External Website / link click here ]