Paul Milne has decided to step down as secretary of the IRBC. Paul has served on the Committee since 1996 and he has overseen massive changes to the committee in the intervening period. The role of the Secretary has evolved into an ever more demanding and critical one for the smooth working of the Committee and comprises not only the functional organisation of the committee but the preparation and co-editing of the Irish Rare Bird Report. It is a role that Paul fulfilled with relish and great enthusiasm. Both the record circulation system and the compilation of the Report have advanced immeasurably under Paul's steady hand and he leaves a legacy that will be hard to follow.

That said, we are lucky enough to have recruited a man up to the task. We are delighted to announce that Kieran Fahy has accepted an invitation to join the IRBC as the new Secretary, to begin on 1st January 2010. Many of the Irish birdwatching community will be familiar with Kieran's encyclopedic knowledge of bird records and statistics, and in many ways, he was the obvious choice to take over Paul's job. We wish Kieran well in his new role.

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