Policy Groups

Policy Groups – Terms of Reference 2017/18
Policy Groups

1. Training Policy Group:

Members: Brian Craig (Chair), Harry Hermon (Staff), Dave Garvey (Staff), Ruth Ennis, Dennis Dillon, James Lyons, Dave Harte, Eleonore Conroy, Tadg Murphy, Dave Ballesty.

Focus Areas:

  • Powerboat – oversee the Review of the Powerboat Scheme through the working group set up for this purpose with the view to piloting approved changes in 2017.
  • Coaching Programme – oversee the development the Club Coaching Programme and it’s roll out with Clubs and Classes during 2017
  • RYA Policy – Review Irish Sailing policy on RYA training in Ireland for training centres and the cruising scheme
  • Brexit – Identify potential implications of ‘Brexit’ on Irish Sailing and statutory certification
  • Sailing Pathway – Establish a clear progression into relevant aspects of the sport for people coming out of the Irish Sailing’slearn to sail programmes.

2. Competition Policy Group – Dinghy & Classes

Members: Sarah Byrne (Chair), Sarah-Louise Rossiter (Staff), Gordon Davies, Guy Aplin, Sam O’Byrne, Roisin 0’Brien, Neil Cramer

Focus Areas:

  • Identify Progression pathways for sailors within clubs and classes
  • Develop policy and relationships to retain sailors after 3rd level sailing, incl team racing initiatives
  • Identify potential initiatives for Try Racing with Clubs & Participation Group
  • To review & enhance Irish Sailing website Racing/Classes page

3. Race Officials Policy Group

Members: Harry Gallagher (Chair), Jack Roy (Irish Sailing Board Rep), Sarah-Louise Rossiter (Staff), Michael O’Connor, Gordon Davies, Ailbe Millerick, Mal Nowlan, Fergus O’Kelly, David Lovegrove, Philip Scallan

Focus Areas:

  • Recommend qualifications and standards for the appointment of Irish Sailing race officials.
  • Organise an Irish Sailing Race Officials Conference.
  • Develop revalidation process for Race Officials
  • Develop a structure for certifying equipment inspectors

4. Representation Policy Group:

Members: Fiona Bolger (Chair), Harry Hermon (Staff), John Killeen, Norman Keane, David Beattie, Tara Buckley

Focus Areas:

  • Develop strategy to effect change in the way Government and state agencies view sailing and lobby to promote safe & responsible participation
  • Represent the interests of Irish sailors in respect of statutory affaires and legislation
  • Oversee strategy for ISAF representation 2016-2020

5. Cruising Policy Group:

Members: Paddy McGlade (Chair), Gail MacAllister (Staff) Alex Blackwell, Norman Keane, John Leahy, Vera Quinlan

Focus Areas:

  • Liaison with ICC and CAI
  • Liaise with Representation Group in respect of legislation affecting cruising sailors
  • Keeping in touch with coastal infrastructural developments
  • Creating communications between regional cruising commodores
  • Input for Cruising Conference 2018 Dublin. 2019 Galway.
  • Develop WOWI cruising
  • Link with Clean Coasts and link to a flag or badge system
  • Develop rubbish contact system in port search
  • Meet at least once at start-up of group and follow with skype or regional comms.

6. Clubs and Participation Policy Group:

Members (TBC): Nikki Curran (Chair), Ciaran Murphy (Staff), Colin Morehead, George Kingston, Donncha McCobb, Elaine O’Mahony, Blair Stanway

Focus Areas:

  • Link of Clubs to members of policy group for Regional Representation Look at developing how Classes can link better to Clubs
  • Challenge of Ageing Population – How do we get more young family members
  • Inclusion Games – can we encourage more support from clubs nationally
  • Women on the Water – need for more stimulus to increase programmes and participation

7. ICRA – Irish Cruiser Racing Association

ICRA Executives: Simon McGibney (Commodore), Denis Kiely (Hon Secretary), Rory Carberry (Irish Sailing Board Rep), Norbert Reilly, Colin Morehead, Peter Ryan, Mark Mills, Richard Colwell, Cxema Pico, Robert McConnell, John Leech

ICRA operate as an independent association under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Irish Sailing Board. The current MOU is due for review at the end of 2017.

Focus Areas 2017:

  • Organise an annual Irish National Championship for the cruiser racing fleet.
  • Hold an annual conference.
  • Development of Crew Point initiative
  • Development of Cruiser Race Training Programme
  • Raise the profile of Cruiser Racing nationally

8. High Performance Policy Group (OSG)

Members: Colm Barrington (Chair), Colin Kavanagh (Irish Sailing Board Rep), Harry Hermon (Irish Sailing Staff), James O’Callaghan (Irish Sailing Staff), Rory Fitzpatrick (Irish Sailing Staff), Morgan Buckley, Trevor Millar, Bill O’Hara, Marcus Spillane, Sarah O’Connor, Patrick Coveney

The High Performance Policy Group is referred to as the ‘Olympic Steering Group’ (OSG) and operates under separate Terms of Reference reviewed every four years and approved by the Irish Sailing Board. The group operates on a four year cycle in line with the Olympic Quadrennial. The Current aim of the of the group is to: oversee the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s performance plan with the goal of winning a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games.


The Irish Sailing Policy Groups have been established by and exist under the authority of the Board of Directors of the Irish Sailing (the Board). The Board has reviewed and approved these Terms of Reference.

General Purpose of Policy Groups:
The purpose of the Policy Groups is to:

  • Help connect the Association (the Board and the professional staff) with the members and stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and expertise to the Board on specialist areas and points of contact for the staff.
  • Help harness the experience and energy of volunteers to supplement the resources of the professional staff
  • Ensure the activities of the association remain relevant to the membership
  • Develop potential future Board members.


In carrying out its responsibilities, the Irish Sailing Policy Groups shall adopt the following Operating Procedures:

  1. A member of the Irish Sailing Board will be appointed to act as chair and/or a representative for each of the Irish Sailing Policy Groups, and the Board will approve its membership.
  2. The Chairperson may serve in such a capacity until he/she either agrees with the Board to step down, or their term on the Board comes to an end as appropriate.
  3. The membership for each group shall be nominated by the Chairperson in consultation with the Board for approval.
  4. Members should understand that he or she has been appointed in a voluntary capacity
  5. It is the intention of the Board to review the Composition of the Policy Groups annually based on the on-going needs, work plan and focus for the new term. To ensure continuity and momentum it is likely that a balance will be taken between representation, skills and commitment in reviewing Composition and appointing some new members for the new term
  6. Members will respect and keep confidential any information he or she receives as a result of being a member of a Policy Group, at least until that information becomes public. Any public statements will be directed through the Group Chairperson to the Board or Irish Sailing staff as appropriate.
  7. Any input to the Group by a member should be offered solely in the interests of the sport nationally and internationally and therefore not biased. In the event of a conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest the Group member concerned shall bring this immediately to the attention of the Chairperson of the Group for further clarification or action.
  8. In the event of the Chairperson being unable to attend a meeting, he/she will appoint another member to chair the meeting.
  9. Minutes of Policy Group meetings should be filed with the Irish Sailing Office, and will be made available to the Board. Or in the event of group consultation by electronic means the Chairperson should copy the Irish Sailing CEO on all correspondence.
  10. The Chairperson or Board representative of each Policy Group should report progress against key focus areas to the Board either at the Board meeting immediately following a policy group meeting, or at other times with the agreement of Irish Sailing President & CEO.
  11. Working Groups may be appointed by Policy Groups or by the Board to carry out specified tasks as necessary and report to the Policy Group or the Board within a given timeframe.
  12. Policy Group members may be required to action some of the initiatives proposed subject to availability of professional support from the office, but should not initiate action or give commitments without prior approval and agreement form the CEO.
  13. The Policy Group is as it name suggests there to create policy, give advice to the organisation and represent the thinking of the community they represent. The Policy Group is not empowered to direct Irish Sailing Staff in their day to day activity unless expressly asked to do so by the CEO.
  14. The Irish Sailing Staff member on each Policy Group has a responsibility to ensure the CEO is informed of their involvement on each of their Policy Groups


Policy Groups should contain people with experience in the different areas of responsibility and where possible a regional spread. Each group should include:

  • A chairman, being the Irish Sailing Board member (or person appointed by the Board) with specific Board responsibility for that aspect of the associations strategic plan.
  • One member of staff being the staff member with specific responsibility for that aspect of the associations strategic plan.
  • A number of volunteer members each with relevant expertise in the different key elements of that aspect of the associations strategic plan.
  • The expertise required should be linked to the activities contained in the the Strategic Plan for that respective Policy Group.

Areas of Activity

The ongoing focus of the Policy Groups should be to the longer term goals of the Strategic Plan. Following each AGM the Board in consultation with the CEO should redefine the key focus areas for each group for the coming year.


The membership of each group should be reconstituted each year following the AGM and the maximum term of membership would normally be three years but may be extended by agreement. The membership of the group should be reviewed annually to ensure the group has the necessary expertise and representation to properly support the Board and Professional staff for the year ahead, and to provide new thinking and ideas.