At the recent Annual General Meetings of the GUI and ILGU, delegates were presented an update on the Transition to Golf Ireland. The slides, presented by Chair Tim O’Connor and CEO Mark Kennelly, are now available for Clubs to share with their members.
The decision by GUI and ILGU delegates to create Golf Ireland at meetings in 2019, has heralded a brand new and exciting chapter in the sport, and in the year since then a huge programme of work has been underway to ensure that the new body is ready to “go live”, as planned, in January 2021. However, prior to that date, all clubs will become members of Golf Ireland on October 9th 2020 which facilitates the first Regional appointments.
All work is being carried out under the direction of a Transition Board. That Board comprises four nominees of the GUI and four of the ILGU, with O’Connor as the Independent Chair. Their task is to build the structures and complete the preparatory work needed to ensure that Golf Ireland is fully up and running, ready to take over the organisation of golf on the island from next January. The Board were appointed in February 2019 and have been meeting monthly since then.
One of the most significant steps taken to date has been the appointment of Mark Kennelly as the first Chief Executive Officer of Golf Ireland. Prior to taking up the role in mid-December 2019, Mark began engaging with Golf Ireland from mid-October as CEO Designate on a part-time basis, to facilitate his preparations. Mark was Chief of Staff at the Department of the Taoiseach, during the term of Enda Kenny, from 2011 to 2017. He is a member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club in Co. Kerry.
Various Sub Committees of the Transition Board were set up and cover a number of areas as outlined in the attached presentation. As work continues, the Transition Board are seeking to ensure the very best communication and consultation with the GUI, ILGU and our members with the ultimate task to deliver faithfully the comprehensive Proposal approved by both Unions in January 2019.
Another significant step in the journey took place earlier this week as the brand of Golf Ireland was released. The new logo, and a fresh colour palette, represent the unity and inclusive nature of the new organisation. The launch video of the new brand can be viewed HERE.
While the Transition Period is underway, it is important to reiterate – and this applies throughout the remaining months of 2020 – that the GUI and ILGU will continue to operate as normal. The Confederation of Golf will also be transferring to Golf Ireland as golf club development and club services continue to be a crucial offering of the new body.
As a group, the Transition Board are building on the legacy delivered by the GUI and ILGU over the past 130 years. Over a year into the Transition Period, there is a strong sense of common purpose and a shared determination that together we can and must make the most of this exciting opportunity for golf on the island of Ireland, and deliver on its potential to the full.