It is with regret that we announce that Michael O'Keeffe has stepped down from the IRBC. In addition to his knowledge and perception, he brought a strong work ethic to his time on the committee. As well as the more obvious work compiling the Provisional List for more than two years and more recently taking over running the IRBC Photo Archive, Mike undertook a considerable amount of research on behalf of the committee. The result of some of that work will become visible to all when the IRBC review of Canada Goose records is published in the near future - this work would have been considerably poorer without his drive and knowledge of the intricacies of this complex subject. Although well capable of arguing his own position, Mike also brought the rare ability to listen to a counterargument and a willingness to change his own position. Above all, however, Mike's keen sense of humour will be sorely missed.
With Michael's departure, the Committee are pleased to announce that Ciaran Cronin has accepted an invitation to join the Committee as a voting member. A professional bird surveyor with a specialism in seabirds and an active birder with widely acknowledged field skills, Ciaran is well known and respected by all. Among birders, he is probably best known for finding Ireland's second Hermit Thrush, the third Red-flanked Bluetail and a Siberian Stonechat in his native Cork. In addition to his speciality of finding extra-rare chats, he has also found a plethora of other rarities and sub-rarities over a birding career so far spanning some 30 years. Additionally, Ciaran is a member of the editorial committee that produced the most recent and widely acclaimed Cork Bird report. We welcome Ciaran to the Committee and feel sure that the Irish birding community will wish him well in his new role.