Connemara Driving Ponies

Connemara Driving Ponies

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Good News-Bad News

The Council of the Society must be commended on its recent undertakings and commitments. Also the Elite Sales Group should be congratulated on the success of its first sale. However it would be useful if the council could update the membership, including fellow directors of the council, on the progress / state of play with the commitment and proposal made at the last AGM with regards to amending the Articles and Memorandum of Association. Lack of timely communication only adds to frustration felt at large with the openly discriminatory nature of the Society's make up, which has led to the Society's 'dirty washing' being aired in the national press again [Irish Field 29th march]. Here is the discussed open letter as referred to which was also duplicated on facebook page of the CPBS Ireland. BUT, Surprise Surprise, the Minister maintains he never got such a letter. Was this yet another hoax created to muddy the settling waters once again?

 Posted on behalf of Noel Brett, Council Member.
For Clarification purposes to all interested parties.
Re: Connemara Pony Breeders Society Ltd
Company No: 17849
Registered Charity Ref No. CHY 5864
Company Secretary: Ms Niamh Philibin
Registered Office: The Showgrounds, Clifden, Co Galway
20th February 2014
For the attention of Minister Coveney, DAFF and Dr Pat Wall, HSE
Dear Sirs,
We hereby request as elected serving Directors on the Board of the CPBS Ltd that you suspend all Public Funding to the above named organisation until further notice.

Please note that there are very serious matters of which you must be made aware before you extend the Licensing Authority to continue operation and which requires urgent reforms be implemented.
1. Discrimination
The composition of the board of the CBPS Ltd. Is wholly misrepresented and discriminatory of the Breeder and Producer of the Connemara Pony nationally. Actual records disclose that less than 10% of the National Herd derives from the Connemara Region.
The total number of Directors of the CBPS ltd currently stands at 20, of which 13 must reside in the Connemara Region. An example of this abuse was highlighted at the 2011AGM, when Fiona Callaghan of Ashfield Stud, Longford received 32 votes and was unseated by Kieran Curran of Moycullen who attained 17 votes.
2. Charitable Status Ref CHY 5864
Charitable Status is being claimed on the basis of providing ‘benefit to the local community’ designated as the Clifden Area which clearly discriminates in the application of funding nationally. The Connemara Society was established to maintain and manage a Studbook and for the promotion and preservation of the Breed.
To qualify as a Charity an entity must ensure ‘that it’s objects and powers are so framed that every object to which it’s income or property can be applied is charitable and this must be bound as it’s main object(s)’.
To suggest that the CBPS was/is engaged in the provision of therapeutic pony riding for disabled persons to claim Charitable Status is wholly bogus.
3. Litigation Costs Incurred
Significant funding has been used and applied to vigorously defend actions taken by Members and Breeders of the CBPS Ltd. To preserve their property rights. This needlessly resulted in financial loss accruing to the Company. The attitude of Management in this regard has been reckless and belligerent.
4. Concealment of Material Facts
Management failure to identify and recognise it’s obligations with regard to the supply of goods and services has resulted in significant liabilities arising in respect of VAT for which no adequate provision was made in the Financial Statements.
5. Indemnity Insurance
The lack of Insurance cover for Inspectors engaged by the Society in the Classification of the Studbook has already resulted in a claim being settled (circa €100,000 cost to the Society) and anther pending. For inspectors (Valuers) to continue without adequate cover is wholly irresponsible and imprudent leaving the Company totally exposed.
6. Rare Breed Status
Rare Breed Status was sought and obtained which has led to the over proliferation whereby supply has outstripped demand which has resulted in high numbers of unwanted Connemara Ponies.
7. Reform of Memorandum and Articles of Association
Reforms are needed to remove discriminatory provisions which safeguard and preserve the positions of Officers. A minority of Officers who participate in the Management and Control of the CBPS ltd cannot be allowed to act in a manner oppressive and exclusive to other Board Members.
8. Standards and Principals
Standards and Principals must be followed to avoid and remove conflicts of interests and individual directors acting in a manner that is not in the best interests of the Company with regard to the preservation of its assets and solvency.
In the public interest it is essential that major reforms are introduced to remove the anomalies and discriminatory practices that unfortunately exist in the management of this national resource and leave it fit for purpose.
Responsibility and accountability is absent and cannot be allowed and be licensed to continue in its present structure which discriminates against the breeder outside of the Connemara Region and is a restraint of trade.
Future public funding must be targeted and not further applied to encourage the oversupply and production without the appropriate marketing to stimulate demand for our Connemara Pony.
Signed by the Directors
Noel Brett, Frank Quinn, Michael Laffey, Pauric Keaney, Kevin Bolger, John Joe O’Neill

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