INFC Annual General Meeting in Lisburn

New partnership at North Coast Classic, J McSeveney and N Bradley.
New partnership at North Coast Classic, J McSeveney and N Bradley.

A smaller than usual number of members attended the 68th AGM of the INFC held on Saturday 10th March in the Lagan Valley Leisureplex in Lisburn.

The meeting had been put back for one week due to the severe weather conditions over that weekend across Ireland.

Chairman Len McCavery welcomed the members and firstly asked them to stand and observe a moments silence for the members and relatives who had passed away since the previous AGM. Included were Past President Lyndin Boyle, Committee member George Gaw, Bobby Smyth, Joe Adamson, Brian Hogg, George Barr and Angus Houston. Apologies were received from D Mawhinney, R Johnston, N Lusty, J Albert, S Thompson, J Hughes, D Black, J Doheny and SG Briggs.

He then invited the secretary Trevor Topping to read the minutes of the previous AGM which were then approved. Next item was the Secretary Report of 2017.

Election of Officers: All offices were declared vacant and Life Vice President Eugene Fitzgerald conducted the election.

Officers for 2018 are: Patron Ronnie Johnston, President David Black, Senior Vice-President Clifford Browne, Junior Vice-President Wesley Sawyers, Chairman Leonard McCavery, Secretary Trevor Topping, Treasurer vacant, Auditor Ron McKelvey, Press Officer Willie Reynolds. Race advisors - Peter McKeown, David Black Tom Marshall.

INFC Management Committee 2018:

RPRA representatives: N. Lewis Doagh, C O’Hare Ballyholland, W Reynolds Ballymena, E McGimpsey Ards, P Simth Dublin, D Suitters Doagh, R Duddy Ballyclare, C Lyons Hills & Maze, T Griffiths Eastway, A Thompson Ballyclare, A Larkin Wilton Cross, J Serplus Laurelvale, G McDowell Kells, P Dunlop Edgarstown.

RPRA Appeals Committee: W Knowles Kingsmoss, J Brown Blackwatertown, J Burrows Eastway.

IHU representatives: L McCavery Annalong, B Marshall Newtownbreda, P O’Neill Grosvenor, B McLoughlin Annalong, D Walton Skerries, A Kelly Skerries, R Topping Ballynahinch, M Irvine Downpatrick, J Hand Skerries, D Coleman Castlebellingham, R Trimble Ballylesson, B O’Leary Cork T Marshall Newtownbreda, D Caskey Bangor, P McKeown Dundalk.

IHU Appeals Committee: J Albert Ballylesson, H Patton Belmont, M Roche Blanchardstown.

Motions: The single item on the agenda was to change the YB Grand Nat from Penzance to Bude, although the proposer Noel Lusty was absent the fact the meeting date was changed at short notice the motion was allowed to go forward. Opinions were expressed on both points and when put to the vote the members were reluctant to change, for Bude 12, against Bude 23. Most of the older members remember Bude was flown before, and I checked back the records, races were before my time racing. Bude was flown in 1963 and the winners were a top Ballymena loft of Gray & Lowry, I think they finished 3rd as well winning velocity was 1006. 1964 was Milford Haven won by Smyth Bros of Ballymena velocity 1284, it was Bude again in 1965 won by E Herron & Son Holywood velocity 879, then Cork in 1966 won by J & W Machie of Belfast just over a mile a minute. Penzance was first flown in 1976 and was won in Mid Antrim yet again, Campbell & Francey were to dominate for many seasons in Harryville.

The Agreed race programme for 2018 is a follows, venue for the YB Grand Nat will be Penzance. Tuesday 29th May - Skibbereen Old Bird Inland, marking (Monday); Wednesday 13th June - Sennen Cove Yearling , marking (Monday); Friday 6th July - St. Allouestre Grand Nat King’s Cup, marking (Tuesday); Friday 13th July - Brest Friendship National, marking (Tuesday); Wednesday 5th September - Penzance Young Bird Grand Nat, marking (Monday); Saturday 22nd September - Skibbereen Young Bird Inland, marking (Thursday). Annual Dinner & Prize Presentation Stormont Hotel in Belfast on Friday 23rd November 2018.

At the committee meeting that followed it was agreed Single Bird Challenge to have 10 prizes on a reducing percentage, the entry fee this year is £5.00 and deadline for entries to David Black is 17th March 2018. This year the Single Bird Challenge in the Kings Cup will have an entry fee of £5.00. Birds to be nominated by 17th March 2018 and the Entry Form and £5 fee to be sent to Mr David Black, 11 Drumiller Hill, Dromore, Co Down, BT25 1EP. New Member Application form and Single Bird Challenge form are available to download on the website

The race planned from Ypres is not going to be easily arranged and there may not be a lot of interest and could prove expensive to enter. The committee will make a final decision at the race marking for the Old Bird Skibbereen. It was approved the secretary purchase a new printer. At this meeting I was selected as Press Officer which will be my third time in office, Adie has agreed to give me a hand and we look forward to covering all the latest news and race reports over the season. Willie Reynolds Press Officer.

Irish Region (RPRA) AGM 2018 –

The AGM for the RPRA (Irish Region) took place on Saturday 3rd February 2018 at Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick, County Antrim. Any member wishing to be on the INFC Committee was requested to attend the RPRA (Irish Region) meeting.

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, R Reid Secretary, A C McGrugan, W Reynolds, G Delaney, W Knowles, T Griffith, F Russell, P Dunlop, C O’Hare, W Seaton, L Wilson, C O’Hare, P Dunlop, A Thompson, N Lewis, D Suitters, E McGimpsey, K Wilkinson. Apologies: R Duddy, S McGarry, Art Kelly.

The President Sammy Briggs opened the meeting by welcoming the members and he asked them firstly to stand in memory of those deceased in the past year including Lyndin Boyle. He then invited the Secretary to read the Minutes of the 2017 AGM, which were then passed.

Matters arising some discussion had previously taken place regarding application for awards. It was accepted each club Secretary would have responsibility regarding the Meritorious Awards for Single Bird performance worked out on total time and distance. As far as all the other awards were concerned it was more a case of personal choice, and it was agreed any RPRA Member had the right to supply claims to the Local Irish Region to decide on the winners. Ken Wilkinson put up a bird for his local school Riverside in the RPRA One Loft Race which had done well. Very poor publicity regarding this and the best school not even invited to the presentation in Blackpool. This will be addressed regarding future competition and raised at RPRA next meeting. The Secretary had asked for each club to supply names of Delegates prior to the AGM, just two had replied and the thoughts of the meeting were these should be obtained when the membership lists go out to each club and listed there.

Trevor Griffith was invited to conduct the election of officials for 2018.

The following officials were elected for 2018: Life Vice-President S Thompson, President S G Briggs, Vice Presidents J Serplus, G McDowell and J Burrows. Secretary/Treasurer Mr & Mrs R Reid.

Councillors to RPRA: S G Briggs, and G McDowell with Reserve G Delaney. Auditors Gilmour & Co (Carrickfergus). Press Officer: Willie Reynolds. Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683. E-mail:

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, T Griffith, Lee Wilson, R Duddy, A Thompson, D Suitters, N Lewis, W Knowles, G Delaney and J Burrows.

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, T Griffith Eastway, E McGimpsey Ards, N Lewis Doagh, A Kelly Individual Dublin.

INFC (RPRA) Appeals Committee: W Kelly St Pauls, J Burrows Eastway, and W Knowles Kingsmoss.

Sale Season -

First of the Breeder Buyer sales for Wednesday 2 Bird Club (Coleraine) will take place on the 15th March. Penning from 7.00pm sale start 8.00pm sharp. All birds to be in the pens on the night. Venue the same as last year, in Coleraine Villa Club.

A Complete Clearance Sale for Houston & McDonald of Moira (due to the death of Angus Houston) will be held in the Newtownbreda HPS Clubrooms on Monday 19th March at 7.30pm sharp, auctioneer is Ronnie Johnston. It is not very often a team of this quality comes up for sale! Steeped in long distance bloodlines Houston & McDonald were twice winners of the Friendship National and in 2011 finished 2nd Open INFC St Malo behind Joe Doheny of Malahide in Dublin, their velocity was 1041ypm winning £760. When racing with Lisnagarvey away back in 1981 they had 1st Open INFC Avranches and then much later in Moira 2002, 1st Open INFC Fourgeres. The Friendship National was a big favourite, no wonder – A Sale Not to MISS! Ronnie Johnston Tel: (028) 90 483625.

Gilford & District Golden Ring Race - Young Bird Talbenny 2018 - Birds will be released with the NIPA. First Prize £500, Second £300, Third £200. Rings can be bought in C & H Beattie’s Portadown or Donnely’s Newry. Ring Gerald on 07756 508510 or Fred on 07835818213. Rings £10.00 each.