May 13, 2020
I hope you are all well and handling the situation and restrictions in a positive and hopeful way. I know it’s difficult, so try and support each other.
I can tell you that the Chairman and the Board members are working hard on your behalf, and have had to make tough decisions regarding Staff, Finances and IKC Events without the benefit of face to face meetings. I would also like to acknowledge the excellent re-action of all our members and Clubs to this National crisis. You all reacted with great responsibility, were very understanding of the measured responses and have shown great commitment.
For now, and for the immediate future, decisions will have to be made in line with government restrictions and the best information available, so I think it’s worth commenting on where we are as an Organisation so we can be prepared as to how and when we structure our reaction going forward. As we are a hobby for all ages, our membership is varied, from very young and not so young, all decisions have to take this into consideration. The profile of
Organisers, Exhibitors, Breeders, Judges and Attendees can reflect many in the upper age limit and many with underlying health problems, making them vulnerable to the present situation. The ongoing restrictions to travel internally as well as the possibility of no ‘All-ISLAND’ strategy will also have to be considered as we plan for the ‘New Normal’.
For the future we must put in place standard mandatory procedures for protection of people before we sanction events.
As Obedience, Agility, Field Trials and perhaps smaller breed speciality shows by their nature and attendance might allow for social distancing, our bigger events will require serious planning, proper supervision and a realistic policy for judging. The Board intends to put together a policy and protocols for social distancing at IKC events so that we are in a position to be responsible when the restrictions are lifted and IKC events resume.
With this in mind I have asked the Chairs of the various disciplines for their input in this matter and would appreciate any suggestions from the wider membership. As we are primarily a ‘members only’ sport with no real attendance from the public we have a serious responsibility to provide a safe environment for our people.
As this is not going to clear quickly, we should now prepare for when we can re-commence the running of events in line with government restrictions and the best information available. On the business management side, the Chairman, the Treasurer, myself and the Board are engaging with our management team to put plans in place for the operation of the office and financial planning.
I’m sure you are all aware that Post-virus, the economy will be totally flat with huge unemployment, and like many companies this will have an impact on the IKC and particularly the National Show Centre. The IKC is in a very challenging position and it needs support from all our members however I have great confidence in all of us all to rise to the challenge and secure a bright future for The Irish Kennel Club.