At the end of 1971 Major R.F. Ruttledge, founder of the Irish Bird Report, retired as its editor after nineteen years to give more time to his work on The Birds of the Western Palearctic (Preston 1973). During this time, Major Ruttledge had assumed primary responsibility for the assessment of all claims of rare and scarce species in Ireland, soliciting the assistance
of acknowledged expert(s) in cases where he had insufficient personal knowledge of the species concerned. The Irish Records Panel (IRP) was established in 1971 with the aim of continuing Ruttledge's excellent work, its operation being modelled on the quite recently established British Birds Rarities Committee.
The decision to change the name of the IRP to the Irish Rare Birds Committee (IRBC) was taken at a meeting of the IRP in November 1984 because 'of a feeling that the former title has led to some confusion about the committee's sphere of activities' (Preston 1985).
The full list of past and present members along with their years of service etc. is displayed in the table below and a list of notes etc. published by the IRP and the IRBC is below that. Many of the IRBC's decisions outlined in various IRBC reports published in Irish Birds may be found in the Announcements section of this website.
|Name||Years of service||Capacity|
|Lorraine Benson||2018 - present||Provisional List, non-voting|
|Colum Flynn||2017 - present||Batch Secretary, non-voting|
|Colin Barton||2016 - present||Report Writer, non-voting|
|Mícheál Cowming||2016 - present||Voting|
|Seamus Enright||2015 - present||Voting|
|Niall T. Keogh||2015 - present||Voting|
|Mark Carmody||2015 - 2015||Secretary non-voting|
|Paul Moore||2014 - present||Voting|
|Ciaran Cronin||2013 - 2015||Voting|
|Harry Hussey||2011 - present||Voting|
|Dermot Breen||2010 - 2017||Voting|
|Kieran Fahy||2010 - 2015, 2015 - 2017||Secretary non-voting, Statistician|
|Dave Suddaby||2009 - 2015||Voting|
|Joe Hobbs||2008 - 2011, 2011 - present||Webmaster non-voting, Webmaster|
|Michael O'Keeffe||2008 - 2013||Voting|
|Richard H. (Dick) Coombes||2008 - 2014||Voting|
|Paul Archer||1999 - 2010||Voting|
|Aidan Duggan||1999 - 2004||Voting|
|Pat Lonergan||1998 - 2009||Voting|
|Paul Milne||1996 - 2009||Secretary non-voting|
|Éamonn MacLochlainn||1995 - 1996||Voting|
|Dave McAdams ‡||1993 - 2010||Recorder non-voting, Voting|
|Aidan G. Kelly||1993 - 2009||Voting|
|Tom Kilbane||1990 - 1991||Voting|
|Anthony McGeehan||1988 - 1994||Voting|
|J.F. (Jim) Dowdall||1985 - 1998||Voting|
|Pat Smiddy †||1984 - 1996||Secretary voting, Secretary non-voting|
|Kieran Grace||1982 - 1984||Secretary non-voting|
|Killian Mullarney||1980 - 2008||Voting|
|Colm C. Moore||1976 - 1979||Voting|
|J.E. (Jim) Fitzharris **||1976 - 1981, 1982 - 2008||Secretary non-voting, Voting, Adviser|
|J.T.R. (Tim) Sharrock||1971 - 1976||Voting|
|Major Robert F. Ruttledge||1971 - 1982||Adviser|
|Ken Preston *||1971 - 1985||Secretary voting, Voting|
|Oscar J. Merne||1971 - 1994||Voting|
|Frank King||1971 - 1983||Voting|
|Tom Ennis||1971 - 1973||Voting|
* Ken Preston served as voting Secretary of the IRP from 1971 to 1976.
** Jim Fitzharris served as Secretary from 1977 to 1981, as a voting member from 1982 to 1992 and as Adviser from 1992 to 2008.
† Pat Smiddy served as a voting Secretary from 1985 to 1989 and as non-voting Secretary from 1989 to 1996.
‡ Dave McAdams served as a voting member prior to becoming Recorder non-voting.
List of IRP and IRBC notes published in Irish Birds and elsewhere.
Fitzharris, J. 1994. Notes from the IRBC. Irish Birding News 3(4): 128-129.
Fitzharris, J. 1995. Notes from the IRBC. Irish Birdwatching 4(3): 32.
Fitzharris, J. 1995. Election of New Member to 'Rarities' Committee. IWC News 83: 19.
Fitzharris, J. 1996. Irish Rare Birds Committee Report. Irish Birds 5(4): 475-478.
Fitzharris, J. 1998. Irish Rare Birds Committee Report. Irish Birds 6(1): 91-96.
Fitzharris, J. & Smiddy, P. 1995. Irish Rare Birds Committee report. Irish Birds 5(3): 352-354.
Hussey, H. (on behalf of the IRBC) 2014. Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens: review of 20th century records. Irish Birds 10(1): 103-104.
Hussey, H. (on behalf of the IRBC) 2015. Lesser Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica / fulva - a review of 20th century records. Irish Birds 10(2): 266-267.
IRBC 2000. Irish Rare Birds Committee Report. Irish Birds 6(3): 407-416.
IRBC 2003. Irish Rare Birds Committee Report. Irish Birds 7(2): 243-252.
IRBC 2004. Irish Rare Birds Committee Report. Irish Birds 7(3): 413-418.
Irish Rare Birds Committee 2013. Irish Rare Birds Committee review of presumed vagrant Canada Goose Branta canadensis records to ascertain the occurrence of Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii. Irish Birds 9(4): 613-622.
Moore, P. (on behalf of the IRBC) 2015. Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii: review of Irish record and claimed records. Irish Birds 10(2): 264-265.
Mullarney, K. 1983. Irish Records Panel Report. Irish Birds 2(3): 264-375.
Mullarney, K. 1984. Review of Irish Records of Greenish Warblers. Irish Birds 2(4): 536-545.
Mullarney, K. 1986. Irish Rare Birds Committee report. Irish Birds 3(2): 337-338.
Mullarney, K. 1987. Irish Rare Birds Committee report. Irish Birds 3(3): 491-494.
Mullarney, K. 1988. Irish Rare Birds Committee report. Irish Birds 3(4): 649-652.
Mullarney, K. 1989. Irish Rare Birds Committee report. Irish Birds 4(1): 115-118.
Mullarney, K. 1990. Irish Rare Birds Committee report. Irish Birds 4(2): 258-260.
Mullarney, K. 1994. Review of previously accepted Irish records of Western Sandpiper. Irish Birds 5(2): 201-202.
Mullarney, K. 2001. Points of view: The trouble with gulls ... Birdwatch 110: 13.
Smiddy, P. 1990. Identification problems - The divers. Irish Birding News 1(2): 80-81.
Smiddy, P. 1990. The Irish Rare Birds Committee. Irish Birding News 1(1): 29-30.
Smiddy, P. 1992. Notes from the IRBC. Irish Birding News 2(3): 105.
Smiddy, P. 1992. Notes from the IRBC. Irish Birding News 3(1): 32.
Smiddy, P. 1993. Notes from the IRBC. Irish Birding News 3(2): 66.
Preston, K. (ed.) 1973. Irish Bird Report, Twentieth Annual Report 1972. Irish Wildbird Conservancy.
Preston, K. (ed.) 1985. Thirty-second Irish Bird Report, 1984. Irish Birds 3(1): 105.