It is with great regret that the IRBC announce that Kieran Fahy has stepped down as Secretary of the IRBC, having served five years in the position. In his time as Secretary, Kieran brought a level of commitment to the role far beyond what might reasonably have been expected, to the extent that he produced six Rare Bird Reports in his five years! Kieran also took on the immense task of scanning all the IRBC records to a digital format and then, as evidenced by the number of appendices of corrections in the Rare Bird Reports, worked hard to update and correct the statistical record. The unprecedented level of analysis he brought to the IRBR species accounts illustrates perfectly his organisational abilities and enthusiasm for rare bird records, which no doubt helped make all of the above possible. As de facto chairman of the committee he brought great good humour and patience to the role of chasing down voting members for their decisions - in the words of one long serving member 'it was a pleasure to be harassed by him'. He has also helped in formalising a written set of committee procedures and while his attention to detail will be missed, the committee is delighted that he will continue to assist us in maintaining the official records database and in the production of the species statistics for future IRBC reports. The IRBC thanks Kieran for his considerable input over the years and we acknowledge that he will be a hard act to follow.
Fortunately, we believe we have found an excellent candidate in Mark Carmody. Mark, originally from Cobh and now resident in Dublin will be well known in birding circles as 'the voice' of the Wexford and East Coast Bird News twitter services. He has travelled extensively and while abroad apart from gaining considerable experience of the world's birds also caught the photography bug which has seen him rise to become one of the most experienced and published of Irish bird photographers; on returning to Ireland he served for a time on the editorial board of the Cork Bird Report. The time and effort expended in contributing to several books and numerous public speaking engagements hasn't prevented him from acquiring considerable qualifications in the scientific and legal fields so this level of focus and organisation bodes well for his tenure as Secretary of the IRBC. We are certain the Irish birding community will come together to wish him well in his new role.