Vegetarian Society of Ireland – AGM
Saturday, 3rd Sept. 2022
- Mary Minihane
- Liam Madden
- Sarah Allen
- Martin O’Reilly
- Rose McCarthy
- Louisa Jane Moss
- James O’Donovan
- Bronwyn Slater
Sarah Allen resigned as Director.
Martin O’Reilly resigned as Chairperson and Director.
It was noted by Mary that Grace Hillis is Company Secretary and wishes to resign.
Liam Madden and Mary Minihane agreed to stay on as directors.
Mary pointed out that we have 10K euros in the bank account and €3k in prize bonds.
3 people are required to be signatories on the account. Currently those 3 people are: Sarah Allen, Mary Minihane and Maureen O’Sullivan.
Louisa Moss and Bronwyn Slater will replace Sarah Allen and Maureen O’Sullivan on the bank account.
We will have to change the name of the Bank Account, in accordance with the name change of the organisation – see below.
2 people have to sign every cheque.
We need an accountant as our current accountant has not been responding to Mary’s attempts to get the accounts finalised.
Mary has already contacted the Charities Regulator about this and got no response.
The accountants normally charge 800 euros.
James mentioned that on the Grant Thornton Website it says that “charities will not be required to file financial statements with the CRA if their income is below €25,000 per annum.”
Rose mentioned that she may know of an accountant.
It was suggested that we email Grant Thornton who work with charities.
Liam suggested ‘Tax Assist’ who have offices around the country.
Mary is willing to stay on as Treasurer but she does not want to work with accountants.
Mary mentioned that she would like someone else to get the prize bond money.
Liam felt that we should get the accounts audited.
Action Point: James will do some further investigation on this and report back
The group decided that the following people would be the new directors:
- Rose McCarthy
- Louisa Moss
- Bronwyn Slater
It was pointed out by James that Company Directors have legal responsibility to ensure that everything is above board within the company/charity. James shared the document, Guidance for Charity Trustees in the chat which outlines the responsibilities of trustees.
Bronwyn Slater will be the secretary.
Martin O’Reilly was the Chairperson.
Bronwyn Slater volunteered to chair future meetings. (If anyone else would like to chair future meetings this role can be shared.)
The Guidance for Charity Trustees clarifies that “If the charity is a company, the charity trustees are the directors and other officers of the company;”
Positions on the Committee:
Louisa Moss volunteered to be Public Relations Officer.
Rose McCarthy indicated that she would get involved in encouraging membership.
We have Dr. Ulrich Bartels signed up to be our Health spokesperson.
Maureen O’Sullivan has agreed to be our Legal spokesperson.
James O’Donovan will be our Environment spokesperson.
Louisa mentioned that she is currently a climate ambassador with An Taisce and can also speak to environmental and climate issues.
Name change – from ‘The Vegetarian Society of Ireland’ to ‘The Vegan Society of Ireland’:
Louisa proposed the motion to change the name of the society, and Bronwyn seconded.
All voted in favour of the motion to rename the society.
It was pointed out that Vegetarians should be encouraged to become members of the society.
Our role should be education first and foremost.
The Constitution will need to be updated. It is online at: vegetarian.ie/constitution
Action Point: James will look at the Terms of Reference.
Website, Social Media, Emails:
Mary pointed out that we need to sort out the emails. She is currently monitoring them.
David Roberts was previously the tech support person for the website and emails.
We said that we would set up a new website and re-launch ourselves.
The domain ‘vegansociety.ie’ is currently unavailable but may become available soon. Bronwyn will monitor the situation.
Action Point: Bronwyn will obtain a suitable domain name for the website.
Other options include: vegsoc.ie or vegsociety.ie
Liam mentioned he was active on social media.
Bronwyn is also willing to work on social media.
Ideas for the future:
Rose mentioned that we should have stands at festivals and events, and that we should make a list of events we could participate in, eg. Electric Picnic, Vegfest, etc.
Universities may also be ripe for vegan outreach.
Our next zoom meeting is Wednesday, 5th of October at 8.30pm
It was suggested that we meet once a month – on the first Wednesday of the month – until we get all the new changes in place.
The meetings are to last no more than one hour.
(November’s meeting will be Weds, 2nd Nov.)