President of the Irish Kennel Club, Sean Delmar, and Nick Hammond, Chairman of the General Purposes Committee, are just back from Buenos Aires where they attended the General Asssembly of the FCI. This proved to be an historic occasion when the IKC application for full membership of the FCI received an unprecedented 100% favourable vote from the 48 countries attending.
The IKC have taken the application to this point by careful stages to ensure that everyone involved was in agreement. Having obtained the full support of the Council of the IKC, An Ard Chomhairle, we invited Mr. Kari Jarvinen, President of the Finnish Kennel Club, to talk about the benefits of full membership and answer any questions Council Members might have. We then invited M. Yves de Clercq, Executive Director FCI, to come and meet the General Purposes Committee and the Irish Kennel Club staff. All these meetings were very positive and with the full support and encouragement of all those participating and the backing of the Irish Tourist Authority Mr. Delmar and Mr. Hammond travelled to Argentina to make a presentation on behalf of the IKC.
Three other countries were applying, Latvia and Lithuania for Full Membership and Kazakhstan for Associate Membership - all were successful but their style was more formal and concentrated on the statistics of their Kennel Clubs whereas we separated the statistical information and the general picture of Ireland and the dog scene here. Folders promoting Ireland were distributed and contained badges and leaflets and a CD provided by the Tourist Board was shown and h ad the delegates clapping and singing along in a very happy and relaxed way.
After 15 years as associate members some surprise was shown that we had waited so long to apply for full membership and Finland, Greece and Argentina were particularly supportive. I gather the hospitality given was second to none and our delegates were greeted as ‘Hello Ireland’ presumably because it was easier than remembering their names!
Wendy Jackson, PRO Irish Kennel Club n