We have been asked to provide clarification on point 4. of the Agenda for the upcoming AGM. The notice of the Agenda posted on the website and sent out states that a motion will be put forward to amend the Memorandum & Articles of Association. The use of the word “motion” is misleading and we apologize for this and any confusion emanating from this statement.
At the EGM in November of 2009, the Executive Committee and Directors were tasked with incorporating the association into a new company limited by guarantee (not having a share capital). However, we were asked to verify that the incorporation of the IIHA would not affect our membership with the International Ice Hockey federation or the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Over the past 9 months, we have sought and received this clarification. However, a mistake was pointed out in our Articles of Association by the IIHF. Our Articles claimed that our association is the “governing body for amateur ice hockey for the whole island of Ireland”. However, we were informed that as Ice Hockey UK is a member of the IIHF and is the recognised governing body for the territory of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland and that as such the IIHF cannot accept that our association’s constitution extends the authority of our association on the whole territory of the island of Ireland.” In fact the membership requirements set out in the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws specifically state that a member national association must be the ice hockey association of a sovereign state. As Northern Ireland is an integral part of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland there is no doubt about IHUK’s authority over this territory with regards to ice hockey. After the OCI communicated directly with the IIHF, the OCI too acknowledged this mistake in our Articles and the changes that had to be made.
Therefore, it is necessary to fix what is stated in our Memorandum & Articles of Association from: The main objects for which the Association is established are: – to foster and encourage the sport of amateur ice hockey throughout Ireland and to serve as the governing body of amateur ice hockey in Ireland. [please note: “Ireland” means the whole island of Ireland]
To: The main objects for which the Association is established are: – to foster and encourage the sport of amateur ice hockey throughout Ireland and to serve as the governing body of amateur ice hockey in Ireland (excluding Northern Ireland);”
Please may we draw your attention to the very important distinction above – we are still the Association tasked with developing the sport on this island; however, we cannot call ourselves the “governing body” of the entire Island i.e. we cannot make claim on any territory or part of belonging to another sovereign state. Thus, this “change” that we have to make to the Articles of our Association in order to remain a member of the IIHF isn’t actually a change at all; it is in fact a true reflection of the reality of how things have always been, and how they will continue to be for the foreseeable future. It is the correction of a mistake merely in drafting of the Articles themselves, not a change in governance, plans, or territorial jurisdiction.
The reason why it matters now that what is put down in writing is indeed correct is because the IIHF have asked us to rectify this mistake, as they themselves have only become aware of this mistake upon reviewing our Memorandum & Articles of Association.
Concerns were raised that this could somehow affect the eligibility of players from Northern Ireland to: 1) play for the Irish National Teams and 2) play in the leagues governed by the IIHA. We raised these concerns with both the IIHF and the OCI and we can confirm that the rectification of the mistake in the Articles will have no bearing whatsoever on the above two points raised.
It must be clarified now that the eligibility of players to play for the Irish National teams and in our domestic leagues has nothing to do with our Memorandum & Articles of Association.
To Summarize the above:
a) This “change” in wording, which is required by the IIHF, is merely a technicality in that one can only be the “governing body” for one sovereign state. As we all know, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are indeed two separate states.
b) This “change” is not a change, but indeed a correction.
c) This correction must occur to ensure our continued membership with the IIHF.
d) This correction to our Memorandum & Articles of Association has no connection or bearing on the issue of eligibility in relation to National Teams and Domestic Leagues.
e) The issue of eligibility in relation to National Teams and Domestic Leagues is governed by the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws or appropriate IIHF Regulations.
We understand that this is confusing, and we are here to clarify this for our members so that we can incorporate the association thus securing the safety of our members and the association itself, and to of course continue to developing the sport throughout the Island of Ireland.
It cannot be stressed enough that our aim as an Association to develop the sport on the Island of Ireland has not changed nor will it change in the future. In discussions with Ice Hockey UK and the IIHF, we can assure you, 100%, that Ice Hockey UK is fully on board with us developing the sport on the Island and the IIHF support this.
This change in wording, which is required by the IIHF, is merely a “technicality” in that one can only be the “governing body” for one sovereign state. As we all know, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are indeed two separate states.
Therefore, we are not bringing a motion forward, but we are updating our members on a situation that must be rectified in order to proceed with the mandate of Incorporation. The incorporation documents have been signed and are ready to be delivered to the CRO, but we wanted to explain this issue to our members so we can dispel any rumours and scare-mongering to the contrary about the Executive Committee & Directors making changes and putting certain members in danger of exclusion without our members approval. This is obviously not the case. We will take all of your questions on the day in regards to this issue.
Again, we apologize for any confusion caused but we believe we can resolve this issue once and for all, and move on.
IIHA Executive Committee & Directors