Oscar Merne resigned from the IRBC in April 1994 after 23 years of service as a voting member of both the Committee and its predecessor, the Irish Records Panel, of which he was a founder member. We are deeply indebted to him for his contribution over so many years. Anthony McGeehan resigned from the Committee in July 1994 having served as a member since 1988 and we are very grateful to him for his enthusiasm and dedication to all aspects of the Committee's work during this period.
The election of a new voting member to the Irish Rare Birds Committee was recently concluded. There were three candidates for the position and ballot papers were issued on request to any observer ordinarily resident in Ireland who contributed to the national or local recording system as evidenced by their inclusion in the list of contributors in any one of a number of national and local reports issued within the last three years.
A total of 23 votes was cast with Éamonn MacLochlainn emerging as the preferred candidate. He joined the Committee as a voting member with effect from June 1995.
The membership of the Committee is now as follows:- Jim Dowdall, Aidan Kelly, Dave McAdams, Éamonn MacLochlainn and Killian Mullarney. Pat Smiddy is the Secretary and Jim Fitzharris is a non-voting member.
The IRBC wishes to thank all the candidates for putting their names forward and both the Birds of Ireland News Service and the Northern Ireland Birdline for publicising the election.
The Committee feels that the response to the election was unacceptably low, especially as the concept was welcomed when first mooted at the IRBC's third Open Forum, which was held in November 1993. Given the work involved in organising the election, the Committee will reconsider whether an election of this type is the best way to fill vacancies for voting members of the IRBC.