Gilford-Angling-Club

 This is the 'Unofficial' site of Gilford Angling Club

WHEN SOMEONE CONTINUALLY REFUSES TO TALK, YOU KNOW THERE'S SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG

Over a period of almost 3 months I have made various attempts to sit down and discuss all of the irregularities that are taking place with the Club Secretary, he has declined all of these requests. The Club President also called for a meeting at which he would chair in attempt to resolve current issues, he refused his request also. With the Cub Secretary refusing to talk and refusing to defend or even explain his actions. I was left with no choice but to bring 9 charges of 'Misconduct' against him. This has all been very frustrating as there are some serious issues that need to be resolved and when you keep coming up against a brick wall and people refuse to talk then actions need to be taken in order to resolve these. All the information contained in the following explain in detail the major problems within the club and I believe you the members have a right to know and being armed with this information you can judge for yourself. More information will be revealed over the next few weeks on the lead up to the A.G.M. 


CALL FOR AN E.G.M. REFUSED

This is to inform you the members that a call was made for an Extraordinary General Meeting (E.G.M.) to be arranged and members to be contacted by the 23/1014 informing them of this. The reason for the EGM is that the majority of the current committee consists of non-members having not paid any membership dues for 2014 including the Club Secretary and therefore the committee would be deemed unconstitutional and having no authority to make decisions on behalf of its members who are all fully paid up. This call for an EGM has been totally ignored by the Club Secretary who does not wish its members to be informed of this and other irregularities.
I informed the Club Secretary that once this date passed I would re-start the website informing you the members of this information and all other irregularities that he has allowed. The Club Secretary then gave instruction to his solicitor in an attempt to close the site down. As you can see the Club Secretary's attempts to have the site closed therefore depriving valuable information to you the members from being published have failed. 

                             Club Secretary to face a total of 9 charges of 'Misconduct'
              Charges will be presented to the 'New' committee in the New year

On September the 22nd a total of 9 charges were laid against the Club Secretary, details of these charges cannot be disclosed but the club secretary is fully
a
ware that he will be facing them in the New Year and in front of a new committee that you vote on. These charges contravene the clubs current rules and fall under the category of;

Failing to promote Angling

Failing to look after the interests of its members.

Misappropriation of club funds

Abuse of Position

Most of the charges would fall under 'Gross Misconduct' The Club President on reading these has agreed that some of these charges are serious and need to be addressed. 
The Cub Secretary is hoping that very few members turn up at the A.G.M. As this means he will be voted back on with no opposition and all of the 9 charges can be swept under the carpet, and forgot about and by putting me out of the club he is praying that I will not be given the opportunity of informing you at the A.G.M. But this is down to you and not him as you the members are the club and not him and it is up to you whether or not I am allowed to address the A.G.M. and by doing so inform you of all of the irregularities including the clubs finances.

Unfortunately the way things stand having none members in charge of the club means that the 9 charges of Misconduct cannot be presented until a new and lawful committee is in place and once this takes place a Disciplinary Hearing will be arranged. It is however unlikely he will ever have to face these charges because lets face it if he's no longer Club Secretary he will hardly be paying for membership to a club that he has no interest in fishing, I mean lets be logical here – would you pay membership fees to a golf club when you don't play golf?? and this all leads back to the question why would you want to be in charge of a club that you have no interest in?? Well it's not rocket science so I'll let you come to your own conclusions!

How are none members allowed to be on the committee?

Well in February 2014 I went to pay my dues only to be quietly told by the Club Secretary “Committee members don't pay put your money away”

If you check your rule book you will see that the only exemption for none payment is for members of 65yrs or over who have been members for 5yrs. Nowhere in the rule book does it state that committee members are exempt!!

Gilford Angling Club would be the only club in Ireland and the U.K. where none members run a club! At this stage it is not clear how many years this has been going on.

In a Desperate Attempt to stop all of his irregularities, problems, and cover ups from being published the Club Secretary employs a Solicitor to try to close the site down – and guess who's paying? - I'll give you a clue..................he's not!

Lets get one thing straight, this website is being run for one reason and one reason only and that is to inform you of all the irregularities that are currently taking place and to encourage you all to attend the forthcoming A.G.M. That is all - nothing else. The fact is no other club anywhere in the U.K. would be allowed to be run like G.A.C. members would step in and automatically put in a new and legal committee. 

The Club Secretary doesn't want you to know what he has been up to and wants as few members to attend as possible so he has gone to a solicitor, and in this letter I was told to close down the site. The club secretary is fully aware that the site will be closed down once he sends out letters encouraging members to attend the A.G.M; but informing you is not part of his agenda.

I have given the Club Secretary his 'Right of Reply' and asked him to send out letters and so far he has refused, but with constant pressure being applied it is only a matter of time before he buckles and you will be informed, and hopefully with plenty of members at the A.G.M. you will take the opportunity to vote on an open and transparent committee that will work together as a team and in the interests of you the members.

It is obvious to everyone reading this that;

1 having illegally been thrown off the committee

2 having illegally been thrown out of the club

3 and told to close down the site.

That he has an awful lot to hide and is crapping himself that I will be allowed to address all of you at the A.G.M. And by doing so confront him on all of the irregularities within the club. He is now scrapping the bottom of the barrel by going to a solicitor in the hope I can be kept quiet. He is also incurring unnecessary expense to you the members as you can be sure he will not be paying, and by rights he should be made to pay as nearly all the accusations are against him and his failure to run your club correctly and in the interests of you, the members.

I'm Lost – Can you explain?

I am completely lost here as this makes no sense at all, why does the Club Secretary employ a Solicitor to try to get the site closed down – yet I have offered to Voluntarily close it down myself with nothing else being published – all I asked was that he sends out letters to you the members encouraging you to attend the A.G.M. This is unbelievable and sends a clear message to members that he doesn't want to send these letters, but the fact is he has to, as the original venue for the A.G.M. has changed he is required by law to inform all members of where the December A.G.M. Will take place!


No Interest in Club Secretary's Job!

It has to be said at this point that I personally have no interest in becoming Club Secretary or even treasurer as some people may think that this is my agenda, but I can assure you it's not, as there are far more qualified people amongst the ranks of the current members, and I would rather see these people stepping up to the mark and joining a new committee who work together as a team, being open and transparent and delivering on behalf of you the members.

After 5 years of membership decline all of a sudden it increases!.....................the words rat, fishy, and coincidence come to mind!! 
As an ex-committee member having been dismissed for asking the 'Wrong' questions I felt that members should be made aware of the clubs current decline, the reasons for this and the irregularities within the current structure. The problem with reporting all of these problems is that it gives the Club Secretary the opportunity to rectify these and currently this is what he is doing. Having been told by the Club Secretary in May that the membership was down to 250 I have now been informed (on good authority) that the club secretary is now informing members that the membership has now miraculously increased. This must raise eyebrows amongst members because over a period of 5 years it went from 350 to 250 now within a space of 5 months it has increased!! (well if the truth be told since I put the site up) There is something seriously wrong here and alarm bells should be ringing because if you can't smell a rat...........I can!!

This is not a committee; it's a one man show
Having been a member of the committee for a few short months before being threw off for asking to many questions I discovered a lot of irregularities some of which are serious. If I had been a member for longer there is no doubt I would have found an awful lot more and these are yet to be discovered. Below you will find an example of what has been going on, the more serious revelations will be disclosed during the run up to the A.G.M.

The club over the last few years has seen a steady decline in members and the problem is that the present leadership of the club has done nothing to reverse this trend in fact the leadership over the last few years has only made the situation worse. With the Club Secretary deciding to take on all of the roles of the committee himself including that of the Treasurer, this has led to a one man show with disastrous results. In any other club all committee members are issued with jobs and tasks.

No club in Ireland or the U.K. for that matter has a set up like we have!! No club would be allowed to operate under these conditions! Current jobs such as;

General Maintenance

Water Bailiff officer (in charge of all the water bailiffs)

River enhancement officer

Stocking committee

Water quality officer.

Events officer

All of these should be available for committee members to take on, but not G.A.C. with the Club Secretary deciding to look after all of the above it leaves members of the committee with nothing to do and this is where the problem lies. All committee members were elected to look after the interests of you the members. The Club Secretary was asked way back in January to share out the jobs amongst the members, but he point blank refused. This is totally unheard of in any type of club as all of the jobs and tasks should all be equally shared, this ensures everyone has a role to play which allows the club to move forward and run smoothly. It is therefore vital that at the A.G.M. A new Cub Secretary is put in place and one that;

                                    1     Has an interest in the club and fishing club waters

                                    2     Allows all committee members to be actively involved

                                    3     Works in the interests of its members (and not himself)

                                    4     Can implement a Business Plan that will secure the future of the club.

                                    5     Will promote the sport

Clubs of today would have business plans which they work to, a business plan could be 2yr, 3yr, or 5yr. This plan would give specific goals that have to be achieved, such as;

Youth Programme

Stocking Programme

River Development

Lake Development

Increasing income – Reducing costs

Members of the committee would take on board various roles of the plan, for example if someone took on the 'Youth Programme' Then he would look at all the options and opportunities available to encourage youngsters of today in joining the club this would include

Running under 16 competitions

Running various coaching courses at the lake in conjunction with the likes of Hardy etc

Getting the word out to local Schools and youth organisations etc.

Father and son/daughter special membership prices

Etc. etc.

Unfortunately nothing like this takes place at our club and with the club not investing in the future, then membership which is already down by 25% will continue to decline.

We realise that 90% of the members are in the club for 1 reason and 1 reason only and that is to fish and that most of you have no interest in the politics and the running of the club, and are quite happy to sit back and let others deal with it which is fair enough and to be honest that's the way it should be as you should be safe in the knowledge that the club is in safe hands and being run by competent members who are looking after your interests. Unfortunately when the wrong people are in charge we find ourselves in this position.
Therefore it is imperative that come the A.G.M. you attend and vote on a committee that will deliver on your behalf. Maybe you yourself would want to be more involved and become a committee member, or maybe one of your mates, lets face it you can't do any worse than what's currently happening!!

Whatever you decide we are looking just 1hr of your time that will make a big difference to the future of the club and will secure your fishing for years to come and give you the member peace of mind that the club is in good hands and all of the committee members are actively involved in looking after your interests, and for 1hr of your time once a year its not to much to ask.


Kernan, a Poachers Paradise - 3yrs Without Water Bailiffs,

For almost 3 years the club has been without Court appointed Water Bailiffs, and in December 2013 I myself contacted D.C.A.L. who informed me that the club were without Bailiffs since 2011 I asked them to send me the paperwork which they did, and at the January meeting handed these to the Club Secretary, they lay for 9 MONTHS gathering dust before he got around to applying!! 
This means that for nearly 3 years the club had been without D.C.A.L. Approved Water Bailiffs and during this time club waters were left open to Poachers and all because the Club Secretary won't allow others to take on jobs, and wants to run the whole show himself. This is the man who is supposed to be looking after the interests of the club. In August this year D.C.A.L ran a 1 day workshop for Water Bailiffs which was free, this one day workshop was to inform Bailiffs of the changes in the law and new procedures that were being introduced. This meeting in August was to be by my last as the Club Secretary decided he'd had enough and threw me off the committee, anyway before leaving I handed him the paperwork for this course being run by D.C.A.L. Needless to say that come the day no one represented the club.

Some of you may remember the club Sign at Kernan car park which was removed by vandals in late 2013 and was lying in a hedge for months, the Club Secretary said time and time again that he would sort this out as it needed special bolts. Well after 6 months 2 club members got fed up waiting and put it up themselves with ordinary bolts. (the special bolts were never put on) This is just another example of the one man show. And as for the stones in the car park, new styles, repairs to stands, well lets not even go there!! As he keeps saying “Don't worry I'll sort it”

P.S. Court Appointed Water Bailiffs are now suddenly in place. It seems funny that since I reported this issue all of a sudden they appear. It seems as though my report of all of the irregularities, they are now being addressed, its just unfortunate that for almost 3 years we hadn't got any!! 

A Committee Stripped of their Jobs

The current committee comprises of 9 members, these members are elected to represent you at the monthly meetings.

All meetings are chaired by the chairman and all questions etc. go through him.

WELL UNFORTUNATELY NOT!! as I said the Club Secretary looks after all of the jobs. This means the club is being run by 1 person. Even the Treasure has been relieved of some of his jobs and the Club Secretary has stepped in and now does the accounts etc.

And as for the poor Chairman he just sits there and is reduced to being a 'Yes' man. This is how it is, with none of the committee members being given the opportunity to take on jobs or tasks.

So what happens at a typical meeting?

Well very little actually, the Club Secretary is in complete control he reads out the minutes of the last meeting and the floor is opened for any questions and when he is asked about such things as;

Running a Charity Day

Putting in new styles

Repairing fishing stands

Weed control

Dog fouling

Re-Stocking

Etc.Etc.

The reply is always the same “I'm dealing with it - leave it with me” (which means it doesn't get done or very long delays), then usually for the last half hour they start talking about motorbike racing and anything else unrelated to the club. There is no organisation or structure whatsoever and no one writes anything down, no jobs are designated and no plans are made for the future, as committees go its just a joke - it's more of a motorbike club than an angling club!! And this has been going on for years!!

NEWS!

I have been informed (19/10/14) that the Club Secretary on realising this has been made public is trying to rectify his mistakes and is now giving certain members of the committee certain roles and tasks. Unfortunately this has all come as they say “to little and to late”. This is all just a pathetic way of trying to rectify years of dominance and arrogance that should never have been allowed to happen in the 1st place. It should also be an eye-opener for some of the committee members that his sudden change of attitude and compliance has only come about since my revelations!! They need to wake up and ask him "Why are you giving us jobs to do now, when for 5 years we weren't allowed to do anything!!" It seems as though the website is having an effect and has been a kick up the arse for the Club Secretary and he is now trying to make up for years of neglect.


'Scaremongering' tactics gets results!

The reason or should I say excuse as to why I was threw off the committee is that when a delivery of fish arrived at the lake a few of us were there helping out, the whole operation took about 45 mins and during this time I asked the supplier various questions including what his prices were, at the next meeting I was informed by the club secretary that I was not allowed to ask about the price of fish and for this reason I was threw off the committee. Prior to this meeting and before my arrival the Club Secretary informed members of the committee that the fish supplier had took offence at being asked the price of his fish and because of this there was the possibility of no more fish supplies!! This is known as 'Scaremongering' and as soon as I walked in the whole committee was down my throat. Can I just confirm that the delivery of fish was never under threat as it was delivered on time 3 weeks later and the supplier never took any offence - he's a businessman delivering thousands of fish on a weekly basis and would be asked the price of his fish a dozen times a day and unfortunately the committee were gullible enough to fall for these scaremongering tactics. As I said the Club Secretary was looking an excuse and this was all he could come up with. If we put this incident into context, at the previous meeting a committee member lifted a pint glass and threatened to 'Glass' another members face yet this was deemed as 'acceptable behaviour' by the Cub Secretary as this member (a close friend) is still on the committee and was never reprimanded.

Maybe I went about this in the wrong way – and on reflection I should have approached the fish supplier with a pint glass and threatened to 'Glass him' when asking about the price of his fish. This way would have ensured that I remained on the committee!!??!?

This is a perfect example of the bullying tactics used by the Club Secretary and if your face doesn't fit and your asking to many questions he will use any excuse to get rid of you.

'Kangaroo Court' puts me out of the club!

With the threat of all being disclosed at the A.G.M. They decide I'm not allowed to attend

Desperate measures have now been used to try to force me out of the club in a desperate attempt to stop me attending the A.G.M. and addressing you the members on all of the irregularities going on.
As you are all aware in August I was threw off the committee for asking to many questions I of course appealed this but constant delaying tactics were used and in the end I gave up. On Friday the 10th of October I decided to publish some of the irregularities going on, a few hours later I received an email informing me my appeal would now be heard on Tuesday the 14th of October (coincidence or what?) anyway I informed them that that I was withdrawing my appeal as it was now the end of the season and wasn't worth while. I received a phone call on Monday night (13th) telling me I had to attend I said no that it was my appeal and it had been withdrawn.

The appeal went ahead (well I say appeal) because they changed it to a Disciplinary Hearing, something I was not informed of, and 3 days later I received a letter saying that my membership had been revoked under rule 15 as it was deemed that the web site was not in the interests of the club and its members. (I don't see how informing members of irregularities and asking them to attend the A.G.M breaks this rule) in fact it was the opposite. I wrote to the Club Secretary informing him that improper procedures had been used and therefore the decision made was invalid, and therefore I do not accept the decision.


Wouldn't support the Gilford Team!!

In August as the competitions secretary (now dismissed) I ran a unique competition at Kernan Lake between ourselves and Dundonald Angling Club (photos and report on the competitions page).

This was unique in the sense that of the 70 fish caught only 1 fish was dispatched and therefore would be classed as a 'Catch and Release' competition. Dundonald sent one of their founder members Brian and their 82yr old Chairman George Legge to represent their club. My wife and I provided refreshments, sandwiches, rolls etc. and The Kosy Bakery in Lurgan supplied cakes etc. A great day was had despite the morning being wet and every one enjoyed themselves. The competition received good press coverage with a full report in the local paper and later a photo of the event was published, which is a good way of encouraging new members and especially youngsters into the sport

Our own Club Secretary who was fully aware of this unique competition months in advance refused to attend and also failed to send any representative of the club to meet and greet the Dundonald club. When I asked him a few weeks later why he didn't attend he said it was raining and thought the competition would be cancelled, I asked him why he didn't phone me to check - he never replied. I myself who paid for all of the refreshments, sandwiches, etc. out of my own pocket was never offered any reimbursement and was left to pick up the bill!!

It was hoped that this would be an annual event as next year the team is due to fish the Dundonald Angling Club waters at Creevy Lough in Saintfield. But all of this is now in doubt with the Club Secretary refusing to support this event.

This is just another example of having someone who has no interest in trout fishing as the 'Face' of the club.

The aims of Gilford Angling Club as stated on the 1st page of the rule book is to promote angling can anyone tell me how the Club Secretary can justify his actions?? With the club losing members how does his actions encourage new people especially youngsters to the sport?? His actions on the day were deplorable and have to be condemned by everyone no other club would condone this type of childish behaviour.

Ignores his own Competition!!

There is a report on the competitions page please read this as this says it all!

The club secretary has had 12 months in which to prepare for his annual competition and at the end of the day he couldn't even be bothered to turn up and it was left to me who he threw off the committee to run this competition. The same happened last year he never turned up for this either. Its ironic that having threw me off the committee I had to run his competition and present his trophy. This is just another example of a man who has no interest in fishing club waters running the club. And the question has to be asked why is he even in the club

These are the questions you the members need to be asking yourselves. I already know why - the fact is he is running the club for his own interests and definitely not for yours. Whilst most members can be seen walking around the lake with a fishing rod under their arm he has a lawnmower under his!!

A.G.M. - Members not encouraged to attend........Why?..........read on.

Over the last few years A.G.Ms have resulted with only a handful of members turning up and this suits the club secretary as he knows there will be no one opposing him. This has resulted in no questions being asked and the usual committee being voted on. The Treasures Report (well the Club Secretary does this the treasurer just signs it) is passed with no questions asked and within 10 or 15 minutes we are back to square one with the same old faces. There is no Secretary's report for members to look at (most club secretary's write an annual report covering the previous 12 months) but not at G.A.C. Members are deprived of any information regarding what goes on behind closed doors. As the club secretary told me when I joined What happens at these meetings is not repeated” I asked what about when members ask? He said “The less they know the better, you've a lot to learn about committee meetings”. Well I think that says it all and what he thinks about you.

Misappropriation of Club Funds

There is also the misappropriation of club funds where members money has been totally wasted and misused by the Club Secretary who has abused his position for his own financial gain.
Proof of this will be disclosed in the next few weeks.
I realise that when releasing this information a lot of members will be wondering about the club finances and some of you will be saying to yourselves “is everything ok” well I can't answer that but he is not doing himself any favours by taking over the treasurers role and doing the end of year accounts himself! As this would never be allowed to happen in any other club!!

Where is this years A.G.M?

As you are aware the British Legion in Gilford has closed its doors and therefore the A.G.M. scheduled for the 9th of December at these premises will be changed. The Club Secretary is therefore required to inform all members by letter of the time, date and venue of the new A.G.M. he is also required to put a notice in the local paper. This meeting should take place at a venue convenient to all and a place that can accommodate all of the members.  

It will be interesting when/if he sends out these letters if he encourages members to attend, as in the past this has not happened resulting in about a dozen members turning up and 7 or 8 of these would be existing committee members - hence the same leadership over the last few years.

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
committee (noun)

                 /kəˈmɪti/

 group of people who represent a larger organization and make decisions for it

On the very 1st page of G.A.C. Rule Book it states
OBJECTS OF THE CLUB
A  -  To Promote Angling
B  -  To Improve Angling in the re-stocking preservation and cleaning of waters
C  -  The Preservation and protection of fish
D  -  To Protect the Interests of it's Members

The present Club Secretary and some of the committee members are certainly not looking after your interests and haven't been for quite awhile. This is down to very poor attendances at past A.G.Ms. with maybe a dozen or so members attending and all they do is vote themselves on. Half of the committee don't even fish Kernan or the river and these are the people who act on your behalf.
If this continues there will be no club in years to come, which would be very sad, if this is to change members need to Attend the next A.G.M. and vote on a committee that will move the club forward and this committee needs to comprise of Anglers - members who know exactly what other members want and will deliver on their behalf!

Are there any members past or present who want to have their say?

Are there irregularities in the past that you have come across? Or incidents that have been swept under the carpet then use the contacts page all info received is confidential or if you just want to give feedback on all of this please do so.

RIGHT TO REPLY.
The Club Secretary has of course the right to reply on any of the above issues or if he wishes to make a statement or if he wishes to let members know when the A.G.M. will take place


THE NEXT UPDATE WILL BE ABOUT THE MISAPPROPRIATION OF CLUB FUNDS  WHICH SHOULD BE IN AND AROUND THE 09/11/14 

Members are asked to talk to each other about all of what is going on as there is no point in pretending it's not happening. Find out who is willing to go onto the new committee approach members and ask them if they are willing to put their name forward and tell them you will support them, simply sitting back and hoping a new committee will be voted on will achieve nothing..........so talk to your mates and on the night lets get a new committee, a committee that actually consists of Anglers who fish club waters because having none-fishermen run an Angling Club is a complete joke and needs to change.

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