√Čamonn MacLochlainn, who joined the Committee in June 1995, has left Ireland to work in Sierra Leone for a year. For obvious logistical reasons he will not be acting as a voting member of the Committee during this sabbatical but we hope that he will resume his role on the IRBC as soon as he returns. Pat Smiddy, who has served as Secretary of the Committee since October 1985 and was a voting member from 1985 to 1989, had indicated his intention some time ago to step down as Secretary in 1996. He did so in June although he agreed to continue to take responsibility for material for the 1995 Irish Bird Report until it was ready for publication.

As Secretary, Pat was peerless in his dedication, efficiency and discretion and justifiably earned the deep respect of his colleagues and the Irish birdwatching community for his outstanding contribution to the work of the Committee. Following his retirement, Pat has agreed to help the work of the Committee by continuing his work on the forthcoming Checklist of Irish Birds and also by providing assistance with research and archival work. We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Secretary, Paul Milne. Paul is well-known as an experienced field observer and brings a number of important skills to his new position.

The membership of the Committee is now as follows:- Jim Dowdall, Aidan G. Kelly, Dave McAdams and Killian Mullarney. Paul Milne is the non-voting Secretary and Jim Fitzharris is a non-voting advisory member.

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