Landmark Cycling Ireland AGM As Reforms Continue And New Constitution Adopted

The Cycling Ireland Board and Chief Executive Officer James Quilligan

Cycling Ireland held its 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, September 30th, at Carrick-On-Shannon.

Members and delegates gathered for what President, Dr. Tom Daly, described as a watershed AGM for Cycling Ireland with a new Constitution being adopted along with a range of governance, financial, administrative and structural reforms being well received by delegates. 

The new CEO, James Quilligan, was introduced and he gave a comprehensive report on the year’s activities, along with an overview of the administrative and financial management restructuring taking place.  

The Directors’ Report for 2022 was introduced by Susan Ahern, Chair of the Audit Finance & Risk Committee. It described a financially challenging year with substantial costs being incurred by ongoing legacy issues. Internal financial management and budgetary control systems have been overhauled – the work commenced in earnest in the second half of 2022 and continued into 2023. 

The report also referred to 2022 as somewhat of a transition year for Cycling Ireland as it emerged from both the COVID-19 period and the governance crisis of 2020-2021: Membership continued to grow, and a full calendar of events and programmes was undertaken after the COVID-19 period. 

The Certified Audited Financial Statements of the Company were adopted, showing substantial costs from legacy issues contributing to an operating loss of €184,642 for 2022. Excluding the impact of the increase in the value of the investment property, the underlying operating loss would have been €584,642.  Financial stability was achieved through 2023 and projections for the year are positive. Delegates approved the appointment of OSK as auditors for the next four years.

Subscription fees for 2024 were fixed with adjustments to license costs but no overall increase in the average cost of joining Cycling Ireland. A motion to reduce the current Event License Fee (formerly called ‘One Day License’) did not go to the floor due to the absence of those who proposed the motion.

Following a consultation process with members throughout 2022, an outline of the plan for the organization’s longer-term structural reform were delivered by Vice-President, Conor Campbell and CEO, James Quilligan. 

William Byrne was re-elected unopposed to the post of Executive Director. An election for the post of Non-Executive Director was deferred and the nomination process will re-open followed by an EGM in due course.

Concluding the AGM, the President - Dr. Tom Daly said: 

“After a period of governance, financial and administrative reform – all ongoing – along with the very necessary constitutional and structural reforms that were considered here today, we have the stability and structures that gives us a platform to grow into one of the standout sporting organizations on the island."
“I believe this to be somewhat of a watershed AGM in the ongoing development of Cycling Ireland. Arising from a crisis period, we have, collectively: Achieved fundamental reform of higher-level governance; Passed very necessary Constitutional reform; Achieved financial stability, with a strong basis for growth and the re-building of our reserves; Agreed on the need for structural reform and have commenced that process; Are undertaking a significant overhaul of our executive structures including staffing, administrative and financial-management systems.”
“For me, it is satisfying that I can confidently use the word ‘consensus’ in relation to this progress – and I acknowledge and welcome the role of the Provincial Presidents and Committees as part of this. Today’s proceedings demonstrate that, even though we are never going to agree on everything, and the journey of change is always difficult and inevitably carries doubts and concerns, we are collectively and constructively facing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Cycling Ireland.”

James Quilligan, Cycling Ireland CEO, said: 

“It was truly an honour to stand on front of our members as CEO of Cycling Ireland today. After three months of learning, it’s clear we have many incredibly passionate volunteers, a committed staff team and a board who are supporting change and progress. The key message from today’s AGM is that we can learn from the mistakes of the past. In the months ahead, I aim to build the trust and belief through better communication and improve every area of the organisation by working together.”

The 2023 Cycling Ireland Annual Report can be viewed here.