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Life by the Liffey

photo by Paul Scanlon
Best in show at the Airedale Terrier Club of Ireland’s Limited Show was Jason de Ferreire’s Rottweiler Eveready Butch Coolidge, pictured with judge Evelyn Hurley

It has been a quiet start to the year in Dublin with not many events in the first two months of 2003. There have been a few Limited and Open shows to keep the interest going for the exhibitor but of course one of the main events for those connected with Fottrell House was undoubtedly the annual IKC elections held on the second Friday in January, writes Paul Scanlon.

As always, speculation was rife in the run up to the meeting and as most of the cynics among us would say, there was much kissing of babies and many a mending of old broken friendships. The elections often throw up the odd surprise and much the same as in politics, unlikely coalitions are formed with a view to getting into office.

While I’ve always had a keen interest in who is elected, re-elected or unsuccessful in the annual elections, I’ve always observed from an outside viewpoint as I’ve never been in the position of being a breed or club/society representative to An Ard Comhairle. Indeed, I’m probably lucky to hear what goes on now and again at the monthly meetings from those who are representatives!

While the average exhibitor might hear of developments in the Irish Kennel Club by accident there’s no doubt that important information often very relevant to the average exhibitor goes uncommunicated from breed or society representatives.

The ‘average exhibitor’ would like to know, six, eight or ten months in advance, who is judging their breed at shows during the year. So many fellow exhibitors have said to me over the last few years how frustrating it is for them that they can’t plan in advance where they will or won’t exhibit or in the case of handstripped dogs etc whether to have dogs ‘in coat’ or not. Forward planning is essential. While I’m sure the likely response to the above from those in office would be that it should be the responsibility of the reps to inform their respective breed clubs of the relevant information, a lot of what the exhibitor should know never makes it down the line.

It would be great to see the IKC start to look at the idea of producing a Kennel Gazette type magazine or newsletter. I know the last couple of years did see a newsletter type circular, but it seems to have disappeared. Whether it wasn’t considered a success or not I don’t know, but I’m sure if the right type of information was contained in it, exhibitors wouldn’t mind paying a ‘reasonable’ price for it.

Websites and entering on line is all very well and good when they are kept up to date and working properly, which unfortunately does not seem to be happening lately, but I firmly believe that most Irish exhibitors would be happy to get a regular official informative communication from the governing body.

Anyhow, back to the elections themselves. Tom Creamer did not seek re-election on this occasion as President and Sean Delmar was elected unopposed to the position. I’m told Sean gave a very nice speech regarding Tom’s involvement with the IKC and the work he had done for Irish dogdom over the years.

I was delighted to hear of Sean’s elevation to the top spot this year. In many ways he has been a big influence on me from my early days in my teens in the hobby. He was a great encouragement from the very first days of my idea of the Junior Handlers Association and was always keen to help the younger enthusiasts.

Mary Crowley remains as Vice President, with the General Purposes Committee consisting of Nicky Hammond (Chairman), Brian O’Hara (Vice-Chair), Michael Drennan, Susan Kealy, Fred Cuthbert, Evelyn Hurley and Wendy Jackson. Rita McCorry-Beattie is again Treasurer in 2003.

There were a number of changes on the Judges/Green Star Committee. Eithne Meenan and Nikki Hughes didn’t seek re-election while Wendy Jackson had joined the General Purposes Committee. Successful this year were Cathy Delmar (Chairperson), Dermot Drum (Vice Chair), Joyce O’Connor and four new members, Michael Gavin, Nicky White, Philip Behan and Colm Beattie.

Interesting times ahead I’m sure for both committees; congratulations to all who were elected.

I had a very enjoyable trip to Helsinki in December to judge at the Finnish Winners 02 Show.
I had been told to expect something special and I wasn’t disappointed. The show organisation was superb, as was the hospitality and with the company of Michael Coad you couldn’t ask for much more. The show has already been well documented in the Eurodogs section of this paper, but often the written report can’t do justice to an event such as this.

I would recommend a trip to Lapland and a weekend in Helsinki to take in the major Finnish event. They really run a great event and it was a great pleasure to have dinner at the Finnish Kennel Club offices on the Sunday evening and view the many historical items held there, including the impressive collection of old books and publications.

photo by Paul Scanlon
Best Puppy in Show at the Airedale Terrier Club of Ireland’s Limited Show was Trudy Walsh’s Irish Setter, six month old Ardbraccan Insignia, pictured with judge Evelyn Hurley