As you can appreciate, there are a wide range of issues and matters discussed at Society Council meetings, many of which are either confidential or commercially sensitive. The following is an update of relevant matters and discussions arising from the February 2018 Council Meeting which can be shared on a public forum.

In attendance Ron Greig (Chairman), Liz Needham (President), Campbell Watson (President Elect), John Christie (Past President), Sheila Eggleston, Anne Mitchell, Nigel Towns, Simon Faux, Michael Weaver, Lester Peel.  Also in attendance were Joe Stewart (For Ivan Porter), Marie Ennett (for Stephen Govin), Robin McIlrath (Chief Executive), Dara Walsh (Personal Assistant) and new council members from March 2018; Scott Brown, Andrew Reed and Susan O’Keeffe. 

Apologies: I Porter, S Govin, G Beacom, J Soulsby, D Lindon.

Vice Chair

Chair of Council, Ron Greig, informed council that Ivan Porter announced that he is standing down as Vice Chair (he will continue to represent N Ireland on Council) and that Council needed to elect a replacement. Council were asked for any proposals for vice chair. Sheila Eggleston proposed Michael Weaver, this was seconded by Liz Needham. There being no other nominations Michael Weaver was elected.

Grassroots Migration

Grassroots migration was delivered ahead of schedule, and the data coming over from BASCO has been ‘cleaned’ where possible. The Society along with Grassroots are still tidying up anomalies in the data as they arise, but the transition has been a relatively smooth process with things going according to plan.

Finance Overview

The Society Profit and Loss for the first Quarter (October 2017 to December 2017) was presented to Council. Net profit is up £6.5k from quarter 1 last year, income is up £13k and operating costs are under control with a decrease of £3k. Surplus income is being invested in Breed Promotion.

Society Nominated Charity

Council agreed that the Society should choose a nominated charity, or charities. There would need to be a benefit to both the UK and Republic of Ireland and different charities chosen each year, or bi-annually. Mental health, dementia and cancer charities where all discussed. A range of options will be reported back at the May meeting.

South of Ireland Branch Premier Show & Sale (Roscrea)

At the December 2017 Council meeting, the South of Ireland Branch were informed that they couldn’t ban ‘trimming’ outright at their Premier Show and Sale (Roscrea) as the topic had been discussed at length by Council in 2016 when Council members sought feedback from their branches. The decision was that for all Society Sales, vendors/exhibitors could choose as to how they wanted to present their stock (ie trimmed or untrimmed). SOI Branch appealed this decision from the December meeting regarding their Premier Sale setting out a range of points which argued the case that banning trimming was good for the breed. Following discussion it was agreed by a majority vote of 10 to 3 to keep the rule as it currently stands and that the Roscrea Show & Sale would require an open trimmed class.

Early Lambing Date/Inspections

Following the introduction of an early lambing date (25th December) there were 9 out of 10 inspections carried out across all branches of the Society. The 10th was not necessary as the breeder contacted the office and provided details of lambs that had been born early. Of the other inspections carried out, only one occurrence of an early birth was reported and this was a multiple birth. The Society will be corresponding directly with breeders where necessary.

Council had also received correspondence from a member setting out the difficulties in complying with the regulation, particularly for smaller breeders. This matter was discussed at length and Council agreed that 25th December would remain the early lambing date with an allowance of up to seven days for multiple, premature births etc.

It was agreed that lambs born before the 18th December are considered as that calendar year’s progeny and therefore classed as shearlings and tagged accordingly.


Historically, clubs are established independently of the Society and on occasions have members and office bearers (Chair, Vice Chair etc) who are not Society members. Many of these clubs get support from both the society office and/or branches. The CEO suggested that if clubs are to continue to get support (small grants, merchandise, rosettes etc) they need to be more closely aligned to the Society with key posts being held by members of the Society. Following discussion the CEO was tasked with investigating further.

Commercial Committee

Scott Brown (Capielaw Flock) was appointed chair of the Commercial Committee and co-opted onto Council. He sees the committee as primarily promoting the breed for the whole society in the commercial environment, sourcing and implementing programmes which drive communication (PR, advertising, leaflets etc). He also discussed how he uses recording information and particularly EBVs to sell his sheep and emphasised the need to have good confirmation to go along with the figures.

New Judges

The following were approved by Council for inclusion in the Judges Panel:

Philip Brooks, Lyatts Flock (Flock Code NLS Estb 2005)

James Heard, Barton Flock (Flock Code 58A Estb 1966)

Angus Howie, Millhouse Flock (Flock Code SNF Estb 2000)

Patrick O’Keeffe, Blackwater Flock (Flock Code NBK Estb 2003)

Credit Control

Council again emphasised that bye law 5.1 was to be enforced and that members who owe the Society money would be put ‘on hold’ until debts are paid and direct Debit mandate provided.

Date of Next Council Meeting: Thursday 17th May 2018