AGM of the NIPA held in Glenavy -

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The 74th AGM for the Mighty NIPA was held in Glenavy on Saturday, 9th February. Chairman Ken Wilkinson called the meeting to order just after 2.00pm and asked the members to stand for a minute and observe silence in respect of members and friends who had passed away in the last year.

The Secretary Fred Russell was invited to read the minutes of the previous AGM, a couple of matters arising a question if all clubs observed the Rule regarding ETS Assignment Lists being returned to NIPA Office. It was thought they all were and the Chairman again raised some concern regarding the miss-use of social media.

Item 2 & 3 the Secretary Report and Accounts copies of which had been distributed to local clubs earlier in the year were passed. The Secretary is to check with the Auditors regarding one item on accounts that was raised from the floor. (Income for 2018, on the General Account). To enable questions to be answered on the day it will be necessary for Clubs to put any queries in writing to the Secretary at least three days prior to the AGM. With no other items under Any other 2018 Business the meeting moved to Election of Officers.

For the election of officers for 2019, President Sammy Briggs has one year left of his two year term in office. He will be followed by Sect E rep Davy Mawhinney and the new Vice President for Sect F will be Paddy Murray. Sam Briggs was asked to conduct the election of officers for 2019 and was assisted by Fred Russell. Most of the rest were elected as year previous, with some small adjustments: Patron Sammy Thompson (Coleraine & County Derry), President Sammy Briggs (Lisburn & Dist), Senior Vice President for Sect E Davy Mawhinney (Beechpark Social). Vice President for Sect F Paddy Murray (Killyleagh). Life Vice-Presidents are A McDonnell (Coleraine Prem), D Carson (Banbridge HPS), M Livingstone (Portadown & Drumcree), O Donnelly (Larne & Dist), H McVeigh (Killyleagh), V Thom (Cookstown), H Boyd (Coalisland), A Darragh (Cullybackey) and R Reid (Carrick & District).

Chairman Ken Wilkinson (New Antrim), Vice Chairman P McLaughlin (Maiden City), Financial Secretary F Russell (Dromore WE), Assistant Secretary G McEvoy (Beechpark Soc), Fleet Supervisor Paul Howard (Coleraine), Convoyer Pat McNeice (Annaghmore), Race Controller Jim Ramsey Derry & District) assisted by K Wilkinson, and G Hughes. Press Officers W Reynolds (Ballymena & Dist), and S McGarry (Horseshoe). RPRA Delegates: C O’Hare (Ballyholland), S Briggs (Lisburn & Dist). Auditors G McG (Portadown).

The Finance & General Purposes Management Committee were elected. A few positions will have to be confirmed at later Section Meetings.

The following were returned: Sect A – H Boyd (Dungannon), J Hanson (Coleraine Prem). Sect B – K Wilkinson (New Antrim), G Magill (Muckamore), G McDowell (Kells & Dist), K Kernohan (Harryville). Sect C – W McClelland (Doagh & Dist), D Campbell (Eastway), G Robinson (Carrick Soc), W Seaton (Ligoniel). Sect D – J Conlane (Kingswood). Sect E – K Henderson (Lurgan Soc), J Parr (Edgarstown), S Corrigan (Loughgall), G O’Dowd (Gilford & Dist. Sect F – P Murray (Killyleagh), V Pollock (Ards). Sect G – B Durkin (Newry), G Delaney (Dromore). Sect H – P McLoughlin (Maiden City), J Ramsey (Derry & Dist).

Voting on the various Resolutions had already been decided at the normal club meetings, no discussion is allowed at the AGM, all items bar the final one regarding Trainers passed with large votes. Decisions were as follows:

Resolution details submitted by NIPA Committee

Resolution No 1 – Insert a New Rule: Any member of an NIPA Member Club who joins the Ulster Federation/IHU for the very first time from 2018 will not be eligible to race with the NIPA from the date of joining. For 46, Against 24.

Resolution No 2 - Insert a New Rule: The NIPA will not collect any pigeons from Club Premises or Addresses that have race marked Ulster Federation pigeons on the same day. For 54, Against 12.

Resolution No 3 – Insert a New Rule: When Race Marking pigeons carrying ETS Rings the Full Life Ring Number must be called and verified as per RPRA Rule 238. For 69, Against 0.

Resolution No 4 – Insert a New Rule: Ref to the positioning of the ETS Sensors/Antennae. All Clubs must ensure that their members carry out RPRA Rule 241 in its entirety. RPRA Rule 241 states as follows- The positioning of the ETS Sensors/Antennae will not be allowed on any Landing Boards or other External Surfaces in such a way that when the loft is closed no Electronic Chip Ring may be recorded by the Electronic Timing System installed. Club Officials may make random checks at any time. Contravention of this Rule will result in disciplinary action under RPRA Rule 70(a). For 70, Against 0.

Resolution No 5 – Delete NIPA General Rule 22b in its entirety and replace with a New General Rule 22b: In both 5 Bird Championship races Old and Young Bird revert to a Duplicating Race. The maximum number of pigeons which can be nominated or entered by a member or partnership is FIVE (5) in respect of any registered Loft Number, Names and Addresses irrespective of the number of clubs of which they are a member. Any member of a club found to have contravened this Rule under any circumstances, or any member of a club assisting in the contravention of this Rule will be Disqualified and Suspended from the NIPA for a period of 12 Months. For 64, Against 4.

Resolution No 6 – Delete NIPA General Rule 53 in its entirety and replace with new General Rule 53: In all National Races the maximum number of birds that can be entered is TWENTY (20) in respect of any registered Loft Number, Name and Address, irrespective of the number of clubs they belong to. For 74, Against 0.

Resolution No 7 – Amend NIPA General Rule 58 to read: Confirmation of Club Results to be Faxed, E-Mailed, or Hand Delivered to the NIPA Headquarters by 9.00pm on the evening of the race. For 63, Against 9.

Resolution No 8 – Enter a New Rule 58(a): A Club can forward as many pigeons as they like in their result. No pigeons will be accepted for entry into the Race Result after the initial result has been received. For 65, Against 4.

Resolution No 9 – Amend NIPA General Rule No 59 to read: In all NIPA Races member’s prize winning pigeons may be Drug Tested within one day of the race. Refusal to allow a test will mean automatic Disqualification and will entail Suspension. Pigeons will be drug tested at the discretion of the Committee. For 68, Against 1.

Resolution No 10 – Amend General Rule 63 to read: That both the Old Bird and Young Bird Inland National’s will be Race Marked Two Day’s previous to the proposed Liberation Date. For 57, Against 14.

Resolution No 11 – Delete NIPA General Rule 65 in its entirety: NIPA General Rule 65 states that the NIPA publish, all National Results in the BHW as soon as possible after the race. For 57, Against 14.

Resolution No 12 – Delete NIPA General Rule 17 in its entirety and replace with a new General Rule 17: Clubs and Members will be allowed to send Trainers to a NIPA race under strict supervision. Trainers will have to be entered on a Master Sheet - the Master Sheet will have to be in the hands of the Club Secretary 14 days before the first race. The first time a Trainer is being sent it must be rubbered and recorded on the Master Sheet and all further subsequent races they must be recorded on the Master Sheet. No pigeon will be allowed to go to a race with a rubber. No Trainer is eligible for any NIPA Position or Award. Clubs must charge Trainers the same price as racers. No Trainers will be allowed to be sent to National, Classic and Championship Races. Withdrawn, no doubt will be considered at a future meeting.

The Chairman thanked all for their assistance in the past season, Secretary Fred Russell is now in post over 40 years and he also thanked the Centre Officials, those who assisted and the Committee who travel to meetings in all weathers. He wished the members good success in 2019 and the meeting was closed around 3.15pm.



Mullingar 13th April (94 miles to Belfast)

Tullamore 20th April (119 miles to Belfast)

Gowran Park 27th April (144 miles to Belfast)

Fermoy 4th May (192 miles to Belfast)

Castletown 11th May (182 miles to Belfast)

Barley Cove National 18th May (268 miles to Belfast)

Fermoy 18th May (192 miles to Belfast)

Talbenny (1) 25th May (198 miles to Belfast)

Talbenny (2) 1st June (198 miles to Belfast)

Fermoy & 5 Bird 1st June (192 miles to Belfast)

Bude 8th June (267 miles to Belfast)

Castletown Yearling Nat 8th June (182 miles to Belfast)

Corrin 15th June (198 miles to Belfast)

Penzance/Penzance Classic 22nd June (309 miles to Belfast)

Fermoy 22nd June (192 miles to Belfast)

St Malo/ Alternative (Tbc) 28th June 450 Miles to Belfast


Mullingar Top Half 20th July (94 miles to Belfast)

Tullamore Bottom Half 20th July (119 miles to Belfast)

Tullamore Top Half 27th July (119 miles to Belfast)

Roscrea Bottom Half 27th July (138 miles to Belfast)

Divide Line for Top/Bottom 54:36:05.

Roscrea Mass Lib 3rd Aug (138 miles to Belfast)

Gowran Park 10th Aug (144 miles to Belfast)

Fermoy (1) 17th Aug (192 miles to Belfast)

Fermoy (2) 24th Aug (192 miles to Belfast)

Talbenny (Nat) 31st Aug (198 miles to Belfast)

Roscrea 31st Aug (138 miles to Belfast)

Castletown & 5 Bird 7th Sept (182 miles to Belfast)

Skibbereen (Nat) 14th Sept (252 miles to Belfast)

This programme was set by the NIPA full committee

Barley Cove RPRA Code 6006, RPRA code for Castletown 6033.

All clubs should re-apply for Barley Cove distances code 6006 as all distances now will be to loft locations that have been googled as previous distances would have been to the old loft coordinates.

Divide Line for Top/Bottom 54:36:05

Section D, E, F & G Bottom Half first 2 young birds. Section A, B, C & H will be Top Half.

I have included a couple of photos of Castledawson, old hand Charlie Savage getting a gift for 60 years dedicated service to the club. I well remember my first ever meeting I attended of the NIPA Committee in Muckamore HPS Clubrooms, the late Sam Halliday was Secretary. It was Charlie’s brother Jimmy who ensured I had a good seat, that was a long time ago.

RPRA (Irish Region) AGM held in Templepatrick

The Irish Region (RPRA) Annual General Meeting took place in the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick on Saturday 2nd February at 1.00pm sharp. Any member wishing to be on the Irish Nat FC Committee were requested to attend the RPRA (Irish Region) meeting to be nominated.

Those attending the meeting included S G Briggs President, S Thompson Life Vice President, J Serplus Vice President, G McDowell Vice President, J Burrows Vice President, A C McGrugan Kingsmoss, W Reynolds Ballymena, W Knowles Kingsmoss, F Russell Dromore, P Dunlop Edgarstown, C O’Hare Ballyholland, W Seaton Ligoniel, L Wilson Ligoniel, A Thompson Ballyclare, N Lewis Doagh, E McGimpsey Ards, K Wilkinson New Antrim, J Mowbray Abbey, S Fagan Abbey, B Gallagher Abbey, R Service Ballymena, R Taylor Ligoniel, G Robinson Carrick, P Johnston Lisburn & Dist, J Conlane Kingswood, R Duddy Ballyclare, N Higginson Ballyclare, and E Gilliland Titanic. Members of Mourne & District included D Booth, N Wylie, T Taggart, T Wylie, N Caldwell, S Eglington, R Haggett, C Patrick, D Kelly, and J Taggart. Apologies: D Suitters Doagh, G Delaney Dromore, G Simmons Edgarstown, and R Reid Carrick.

The President Sammy Briggs opened the meeting by welcoming the members and he asked them firstly to stand in memory of those members and friends deceased in the past year. Secretary Robert Reid is currently in hospital and best wishes were sent for a speedy recovery.

First item on the Agenda was the appeal from Eddie Gilliland to re-hear the case held previously by the Irish Region which had been returned from the RPRA Council. Eddie read out the terms submitted in his appeal to RPRA Council and there was nothing to add. All interested parties including President Samuel Brigg left the meeting and the remaining members of the Irish Region Committee dealt with the case.

The decision reached was the same as decided at the previous meeting, a six months suspension was upheld by a unanimous decision and Mr Gilliland has right of appeal once again to the RPRA Council within 21 days.

He then invited the Acting Secretary Fred Russell to read the Minutes of the 2017 AGM, which were then passed.

A new Statement of Accounts had been presented on the day by the President, Gilmour & Co Ltd from Carrickfergus who had approved the accounts for the year having compiled these unaudited accounts from the accounting records and information and explanations supplied to them. Previously the accounts were checked out by a member club prior to audit, think we need to get back to that they understand how it works and adds up. It was proposed and sec. the accounts are passed.

Under any other 2018 Business the resignation from the RPRA by Cushendall HPS was confirmed and accepted.

Mr Ken Wilkinson on behalf of the Riverside Special School in Antrim thanked the RPRA for their generous donation. Referring to the 2020 RPRA One Loft Race fanciers awarded the honour of entering a bird on behalf of a School of their choice – This must be done at an RPRA Irish Region meeting. The President congratulated all the RPRA Award winners in 2018, and also those who had success at the Blackpool Show.

Guy Barrett Trophy - Regions forward nominations for the Guy Barrett Trophy, which is awarded to the young fancier considered the most outstanding overall, based on performance, their attitude to the sport and how the young fancier helps the club. For 2018 the Guy Barrett Trophy is awarded to Ellie Marshall of Comber, Northern Ireland.

Extract from the nomination: “This young girl is very supportive to all the members of the club, setting clocks, marking racing pigeons, and helping with results and anything else which they request. Ellie runs the shows every year for them.” The statement was supported with a long list of impressive race results.] Ellie receives the trophy and a medallion.

Adult Awards Long Distance 451 miles and over - 1st Prize is awarded to O Fitzpatrick & Son of Gilford & Dist. Blue hen, 1st section, 1st section, 1st open, 473 miles, 2826 birds. They receive the Queen’s Coronation Cup, a medallion and a cheque for £100.

Louis Massarella Trophy (best performance by a young bird) - For 2018 the trophy is awarded to J Vage & Son of Dromore. Blue hen, 1st club, 18th section, 18th open, 224 miles, 5272 birds. They receive the trophy and a medallion.

On top of that in the Young Fanciers Short Distance 0-250 Miles 2nd prize was won by Keelie Wright of Lurgan Social and in the Young Fanciers Middle Distance 251-450 Miles 1st prize was won by Ellie Marshall of Comber. Moving to the Adult Awards Short Distance 0-250 Miles 2nd prize was won by G & A Campbell Armagh and in the Middle Distance 251-450 Miles 2nd prize was won by B Creaney Portadown. Finally Long Distance 451 Miles and over 1st prize was won by O Fitzpatrick & Son Gilford & District.

With the birds on show Darren Christie had Best in Show, Best Show Racer, Best Bird Inter Society and Best Show Cock. T & K Mawhinney had BOS Racing Best 200 Miles and Over. Red Card winners included – Darren Christie, Thomas Rouke, W & N Gilbert and T & K Mawhinney. All in all a good year for Ireland in Blackpool.

Campbell McGrugan long time member was invited to assist Fred Russell with election of officials.

The following officials were elected for 2019: Life Vice-Presidents S Thompson, S G Briggs, J Serplus, R Reid and A C McGrugan. President S G Briggs, Vice Presidents J Serplus, G McDowell and G Delaney. Secretary/Treasurer Mr & Mrs R Reid.

Councillors to RPRA: S G Briggs NIPA, and G McDowell Kells with Reserve G Delaney Dromore. Auditors Gilmour & Co (Carrickfergus). PO: W Reynolds Ballymena.

Irish Region Committee includes: S Thompson, S G Briggs, R Reid, W Seaton, G McDowell, W Reynolds, J Burrows, A C McGrugan, C O’Hare, Lee Wilson, D Suitters, N Lewis, W Knowles, G Delaney, plus R Service Ballymena, G Robinson Carrick, J Conlane Kingswood and J Serplus Laurelvale.

INFC (RPRA) Management Committee: G McDowell Kells, W Reynolds Ballymena, P Dunlop Edgarstown, C O’Hare Ballyholland, J Serplus Laurelvale, P Smith Individual Dublin, R Duddy Ballyclare, A Thompson Ballyclare, C Lyons Hills & Maze, D Suitters Doagh, E McGimpsey Ards, N Lewis Doagh, A Larkin Wilton Cross, G Simmons Edgarstown.

INFC (RPRA) Appeals Committee: J Brown Blackwatertown, J Burrows Eastway, and W Knowles Kingsmoss.

Following the AGM there was a Region Delegates Meeting and then a General & Appeals Committee. Minutes of the previous meeting from October were read and passed. There was an application for membership of the Irish Region from Mourne & District. No objections had been received and membership was granted. It was noted the application from Glen HPS which had been advertised and had a few days to go – up to the present time no objections had been received. Regarding the application from South Belfast which had passed all criteria required for membership of the Irish Region. If both applications pass the guidelines laid down by the Irish Region those applications should be given the go ahead.

Under correspondence two letters were received on the same subject from Amelia Earhart and and club member Darren Hamilton. Both letters were presented to the Region Committee, after consideration the President was asked to reply to them and request that Amelia Earhart call a 168 Meeting to deal with the contents of Mr Hamilton’s letter. Failure to do so would break RPRA Rules and could lead to the suspension of the club.

The President was asked to clarify a problem which has come about in Ligoniel & Dist, for a member who wished to race to different loft locations, a few gardens apart. The President would seek clarification and report back.

Mandating the Irish Region Delegates is usually left to the team of officials and many thanks to Sam Briggs who supplied me with the voting decisions. All told there were 29 Resolutions listed and the Irish Region will vote to support the vast majority of cases. For those who follow the details - They will support 7/3, 7/4, 7/5, 7/8, 7/9, 7/10, 7/11, 7/13, 7/14, 7/15, 7/16, 7/17, 7/18, 7/20, 7/21, 7/23, 7/24, 7/25, 7/26, 7/29. They will vote against 7/1, 7/2, 7/6, 7/7, 7/12, 7/19, 7/27, and 7/28.


There are a number of propositions put forward for voting at the 2019 AGM. One proposal in particular will, if agreed, change the future Governance of the RPRA. It relates to rule 139 and basically changes how propositions are voted on in future. Moving to a one member one vote basis, utilising ballot paper, and on-line voting. I have emailed the list to all club secretaries and also published it in the BHW and RP. In order to change this rule you will need to engage in the current process. Clubs should hold meetings to discuss the propositions and Mandate a delegate to attend the region meetings. CEO Ian Evans.

Reason for change - To provide an opportunity for every member of the Association to have a say in the direction, governance, and rules of the Association as opposed to the current governance structure that requires club delegates to attend region meetings. A small percentage is engaged in the current process. The recent member’s consultation exercise proves that a larger percentage of members will engage in this process as opposed to the regional structure. Please note this proposition does not remove the requirement of the Regions and only proposes to amend how rules are adopted and/or changed and reflect the outcome of the recent member’s consultation.

Did any club in Ireland hold a meeting to discuss the RPRA Agenda and Mandate Delegates? Very few I would think. Best wishes to Robert Reid for a recovery to good health, and well done to Samuel and Fred for keeping the business going.