The Irish Airsoft Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of airsoft in the Republic of Ireland. We work with government agencies such as the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, An Garda Síochána, Customs and the national sports administration authorities to safeguard and advance airsoft in Ireland. We are also the primary point of contact for national press agencies, newspaper, TV and radio when it comes to airsoft.
Our mission is:.
- To safeguard and advance the sport of airsoft through responsible self-governance and representation, and engagement with relevant authorities.
- To provide safety and peace of mind to players and parents of players by promoting our affiliated retailers and venues, who have voluntarily signed up to a code of ethics and conduct.
- To improve and maintain the profile of airsoft in Irish society through engagement with the media and special interest groups.
We are a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation. Our operations are open to scrutiny by members and non-members alike. You can read the minutes of all our meetings in the “Meeting Minutes and Notes” section of our website, which you can find in the menu at the top of the page. We are also regular airsoft players, and will often use Twitter to let you know where we are playing so you can talk to us in person. See our Twitter feed to the left or at http://www.twitter.com/irishairsoft
Find an IAA approved venue close to you.
Find an IAA approved equipment supplier.
We rely on the support of our individual members to continue running. We urge anyone who is interested in the sport of airsoft to become a member. It costs just €10, and you can join at http://signup.irishairsoft.ie/
Last night’s AGM was well attended with some good discussion and positive opinions on the future of the association. Three new committee members were voted in:
Chairman: Kieran Brady
Secretary: Graham Read
Public Relations Officer: Bryan Roche
Over the next few days the last committee will hand over all assets and information required to run the IAA and the new committee will begin its work. Should they judge it to be necessary, the new committee will be permitted to co-opt volunteers to the empty committee positions and also appoint others to non-executive roles to assist in the various projects which the IAA may take on over the coming year.
All members of the outgoing committee would like to thank everyone for their support and wish the new team the very best of luck with the job ahead.
This is the closing report of the IAA interim committee which began its term following the stepping down of the 2012 Executive Committee last July.
Membership & Finances
As has already been reported, the interim committee has succeeded in its main goals of regularising the finances of the association and repairing the membership system.
A report on the association’s finances will be presented by the Treasurer.
The membership system is once again up and running and we are happy to report that those members who had been left without membership cards have now received their cards. We are also happy to report that new members have been signing up since the relaunch of the membership system, especially in the run up to the AGM. We are also committed to providing membership cards as soon as possible to any new members who sign up to the association in advance of the AGM. With the legacy system restored we have moved on to building the new system on a consolidated platform, this will be launching before the AGM, and will be an important modernisation and standardisation for the incoming committees.
The AGM has been called for March 13th, at which time the interim committee will step down and a vote of members present at the AGM will be taken in order to elect a new Executive Committee.
The choice of date was decided upon by the committee in the hopes of attracting greater numbers of members to the meeting so as to ensure that as many members as possible could take part in the vote for the new Executive Committee. This decision was based on feedback that Saturday and Sundays are not optimal for people to attend due to family and actually being out playing Airsoft itself.
The deadline for nominees and for motion proposals was set at 5pm, February 1st, and at that time three nominations for executive positions and a number of proposals had been set forth. These were largely received via email and entered on the IAA forum at the soonest possible time.
A process for winding up the association was also developed and put in place should nominations not be received by that deadline. Thankfully, this process was not needed, but is now contained in the Associations operations manual for future committees.
The nominees for the 2013 committee are Kieran Brady for Chairman, Graham Read (of the outgoing interim committee) for Secretary, and Bryan Roche for Public Relations Officer. Empty committee positions can be filled by the Exec at a later date by co-opting volunteers as per the rules set out in the IAA Constitution. People interested in these positions should make themselves known to the new committee after the AGM.
Debate on Nominations and Motions for the AGM
A sub-forum has been set up for the discussion of new committee nominations and the proposed motions which will be presented to the membership at the AGM. Any questions on the plans which the future committee members would like to pursue in the coming year should be addressed through that channel in order to allow all members to take part in any debate.
The committee would like to ask that as many members as possible who have questions get involved in this debate so as to ensure that they understand the plans of the association in the coming year.
As previously reported, Daniel O’Connor has volunteered his time to develop a brand new website for the IAA and this project is very near completion.
Vice-Chairman of the interim committee, Alan Elmes, has been working on the development of an app for mobile devices which will be used to promote airsoft and will be freely available through the relevant app stores.
The guide to running the association has been completed and will serve as a very useful document for subsequent committees. The guide explains how the various areas of the associations work should ideally be conducted from the accounts and finances to addressing queries from the public and members and dealing with media issues. The guide will be made available, along with the IAA’s digital archive, to the incoming committee.
The day to day operations of the IAA over the last couple of months of the interim committees term have included some very positive queries from people interested in setting up new airsoft sites and retail outlets, suggesting that there is a very positive attitude towards the sustainability of airsoft as an industry in Ireland. Where possible, the IAA provided advice to those who were seeking information on how to go about the setting up of these businesses. We wish each of these people the very best of luck with their plans.
The interim committee was set on one goal, fix the structural issues in the IAA. Our objective was to remove the legacy barriers and obstacles that take up a committee’s time and distract it for actually moving the sport forward. Future volunteers can get involved and dedicate their time to tasks the association should be doing, not tasks to simply keep the lights on in the association.
The following list details the projects taken on by the interim committee:
Wave 1 – “Operational Operations” – 7th September 2012
System access – Done
Exec committee established – Done
Regular exec meetings – Done
Communications online – Done
Committee access to email and Doc’s – Done
Basic communications process with exec SO in effect – Done
Membership address – Done
Membership equipment – Done
Membership process operational with dedicated admin – Done
Access to accounts – Done (with delays)
Basic site and retailer “approved register” established – Done
Re-establish communication with government departments – Done
Wave 2 – “Operational Improvement” – 22nd September 2012
Basic adjustment to current website to better promote airsoft – Done (limited scope on current template)
Begin website project that includes new membership system – Done
Create operation manual for association – Done
Create new affiliation process – Out of scope
Resolve open accounts issues – Done
Wave 3 – Long term stability – 28th Feb 2013
Publish new website – In process – to be completed
Launch new membership system – to be completed
Hold AGM – Called
So, we now have a date for the AGM of Wednesday March 13th at 8pm. This is a time and day of the week which was chosen in the hope of getting more people to attend the AGM and so try to get as much consensus as possible of the proposals which will be put to a vote and the election of new committee members. The current committee would like to take this opportunity to call on everyone with an interest in the future of our sport to take the passion of love which they have for airsoft and stand up to and be counted.
First things first, in order to attend the AGM you MUST be a current IAA member which means being fully paid up and registered by 5pm on Friday 8th March. If you sign up very close to that time you most likely will not have received your membership card by the time of the AGM, but so long as your membership application has been processed and a membership number assigned, you will be eligible to attend the AGM, vote on proposals there and vote for and run in the election of committee members. As you all know, the past couple of years have seen some serious problems befall the IAA membership system but as you should all also know (if you have been paying attention) those problems have all now been solved so there is no excuse not to sign up for yours.
The next thing you need to do is get your thinking hats on and start nominating people for executive committee members. And if you want to get involved with the committee it’s time to start letting people know that you are ready to run for election.
The association needs a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Public Relations Officer. Obviously each of these posts require people with a real interest and passion for airsoft who are committed to ensuring the future of the sport here in Ireland. While the work of the association is far from being a full-time job, it does require a real commitment of time and effort and anyone going for the positions really needs to understand this from the outset. The business of the IAA is ongoing with something cropping up at least a couple of times a week and the business is rarely fun or terribly enjoyable, and nine time out of ten you will not be getting any credit for it. You also need to consider the skills that will be required of each committee member be that a bit of political savvy, confidence in speaking with anyone from members of the public to representatives of the authorities. The treasurer and PRO roles in particular need people with backgrounds and experience in financial dealings and media relations respectively. Yes, these are voluntary roles, but the Irish airsoft community deserves to be getting the best chance possible and that can only be achieved by people with the right levels of professionalism, commitment and knowledge to actually do the jobs which need to be done.
So, after all that, if you still think that you want to work on the committee the time to start letting people know if right now. Get yourself to the forums at http://irishairsoft.ie/ or send us an email at email@example.com. In the weeks running up to the AGM what we need to see is some discussion of the potential committee members who will guide the IAA through 2013 and also of the proposals which you the members want to see voted on at the AGM.
Plenty of people like to have their say about the IAA and the work that it does, whether that be online or in the safe zone. Everyone has an opinion, but when it comes to the crunch time, not many people are willing to put their money where their mouth is and actually get something done. It’s time to buck that trend and get everyone involved. If you aren’t on the committee you might have other skills that may be needed in non-executive roles. If you aren’t involved at that level you can get involved in more grass-roots promotion and support of the association and airsoft by bringing new players into the fold and encouraging older players to put aside any old notions that they might have and finally start to muck in and help out.
Airsoft in Ireland and gone through a lot but it is still here and that is thanks to the work of a special few who never give up on working for the sport. They work tirelessly for the promotion of charity events, large scale themed and milsim events, initiatives to promote fair play, safety and the sport in general as well as constantly acting as spokespeople for airsoft. It’s time for us all to start getting involved in whichever capacity we can. If you’re reading this it’s because you love airsoft and you understand that it can only exist thanks to the work of dedicated players. Now is the time to stand up and be counted as one of those players.
We look forward to hearing from you all and seeing as many as possible at the AGM in March.
The IAA Committee
The Irish Airsoft Association will hold its Annual General Meeting for 2012 on Wednesday the 13th March 2013 in the Red Cow Hotel at 8PM.
This meeting is only open to Members who are fully paid up by 5pm on Friday 8th March 2013.
The location for the meeting can be found on Google Maps at this link: Map
The committee will maintain a section in our forums for the AGM and the information you need to know about it. This will include Officer nominations, Motion proposals and publications.
The operation of the AGM is legally bound by our Constitution and it applies strict timelines for certain aspects of the meeting. These are set out below:
Motions for voting must be proposed in writing (AGM Forum, email (to firstname.lastname@example.org), or letter) by 5PM on the 1st of February. After this point no further motions can be accepted.
Election of officers for the 2013 committee will take place at the end of the meeting. Nominations for committee positions must be proposed in writing (AGM Forum, email, or letter) by 5PM on the 1st February. All positions are open and we encourage as many people to stand as possible.
When submitting nominations for election and motions for voting you must include your full name and IAA membership number.
The meeting agenda and association financial report will be sent to all members before the 11th of February.
The committee encourages all members and affiliates to attend this event. Affiliates are only allowed to vote, submit motions, nominate officers and second officers in their capacity as individual members. Affiliates in their own right have no standing so the owners need to be signed-up members before the cut off date.
The IAA Committee expects more from the Irish Times, the IAA has met with reporters from that paper in person and over the phone many times and after listening to the sports side of the story has resisted negative tabloid sensationalist headlines in the past.
As they state themselves [QUOTE]“It’s a slow news day, so we’re reduced to this: US rapper Kanye West announced at a concert last night that he and his girlfriend Kim Kardashian are expecting their first child.“[/QUOTE] So I am putting this down to desperation on the part of the editors for content, and not a tabloid style campaign like we have seen in the past from other publications.
The article is a general statement on customs activities in the whole, with a focus of dangerous items. From an initial read, they are cross connecting 2 topics, illegal importation of firearms and Airsoft which are completely unrelated and a shameful attempt at grabbing headlines or a demonstration of ignorance of the facts. Technically a hot Airsoft device is an illegal firearm, but the cross connection with real AK-47′s etc is irresponsible in respect of a small sport, and the reaction this can evoke towards our sporting devices.
The IAA will be reaching out to the online editor for a discussion on this article and expressing our disappointment that no attempt was made to contact the IAA for comment or fact checking on this topic. Device tagging is not supported by the Government or the retail community as a whole.
Publications must be held to a high editorial standard when commenting on our sport, the IAA will continue to do this.
By way of keeping the membership informed of the ongoing work being done, the IAA executive committee would like to make the following report.
In addition to the day to day running of the association the IAA executive committee is currently undertaking the following tasks:
A new website is currently being developed for the association which will achieve the important tasks of providing a resource of information for the membership and will also help to build a strong and vibrant brand for the IAA and so present a professional and credible image to the public and attract new membership. The website’s primary role will be the promotion of the sport to prospective new players, a tool that the community has been lacking.
A new membership system is currently being tested and will be rolled out as soon as possible. This will be a more streamlined and comprehensive membership system which will remedy many of the problems which currently exist in the process of reconciling membership payments and keeping accurate records of membership statistics.
Much work has been done on the regularisation of the IAA’s finances and full financial details are being recorded for the last two years which will be reported to the membership once the job has been completed.
The Committee was delighted to receive an invitation from Whiskey Delta radio for on air interview. Stephen Fay was happy to oblige and the guys conducted a half hour interview on the history of the IAA and Airsofts legal position in Ireland, with particular attention to information for new players.
New visibility materials are being designed and membership registration forms are to be distributed to interested sites and retailers so as to facilitate the recruitment of new members as they are introduced to the sport. An advocate for the IAA has been appointed in the south wast of the country to promote the work of the association in that region. Those interested in assisting the IAA in their region should contact the committee at email@example.com
The long standing issue with the IAA PayPal account has been resolved with the assistance of PayPal, and the backlog of outstanding memberships is being cleared. Membership cards are currently being printed and sent out.
Correctly set up PayPal account is setup and ready to ensure that the association is not in breach of any PayPal regulations in how it conducts its online payments system.
A guide to the effective running of the association is being drawn up which will give detailed instructions on the running of the association for incoming committees so as to ensure the association can be run efficiently from the very beginning of the tenure of each executive committee.
Normal Association operations continue in the background along side the improvement project. Some areas covered lately include, laser legality query, importation questions, site requirements assistance, contact with the Garda and DoJ re importation clampdown, contact with the Garda press office re RIF related incident.
A committee meeting will be held within the next couple of weeks, at which a date will be set for the AGM and an announcement made. Nominations for new committee members will be sought at that time.
The IAA Executive Committee
The Executive Committee meeting minutes for September are now available online. They can be viewed under the Official Documents link, or by clicking here
IAA Web Admin
A note on the publication of the minutes of the IAA Executive Committee meeting of September 15, 2012.
The committee has made the decision to include in the minutes published here communications with a past committee member which were made prior to, during and following the committee meeting. We have taken this decision in light of the gravity of the situation, involving as it does the serious ongoing membership issues which have been experienced by the IAA. It is the belief of this the current committee that all work carried out should be done in as transparent a manner as possible for the good of the IAA membership. The publication of these minutes comes with a commitment to publish further addendums of communications on the issues addressed here
In an effort to make the work of the Irish Airsoft Association more transparent and to let its members know how the committee is working to meet their needs, the IAA committee has elected to publish regular bulletins on what is being achieved and the ongoing work which is taking place.
The end of July saw the resignation of the 2012 IAA committee which had been voted in by members at the last AGM. A number of people came forward at this point to offer their assistance to the committee in any roles which were deemed necessary. Following a couple of weeks of communications and meetings, Stephen Fay (Chairman), Alan Elmes (Vice-Chairman), Thomas Keogh (Treasurer), Graham Read (Secretary) and Fabio Venturini (Public Relations Officer) were co-opted by the outgoing committee and appointed to executive positions. Daniel O’Connor was also appointed to the non-executive position of Webmaster and tasked with taking over the maintenance of the IAA’s online presence.
In an extremely busy month since the appointment of the new committee, the IAA has endeavoured to once again make the Association fit for purpose as the representative body for Airsoft players, site owners, and retailers in Ireland. To this end a project plan was created that splits the task of improving the IAA into three waves, getting standard operations back on line, improving the standard processes and then developing the long term sustainability of the association. These new structural processes will ensure that the Irish Airsoft Association can continue to work as the representative body for Airsoft in Ireland in to the future.
The first step taken by the new committee was to introduce itself to representatives of the Department of Justice and so ensure that they knew that Airsoft still has a representative body which they can approach when necessary. Since then, the IAA acted swiftly to make contact with members of the media following reports of misinformation concerning the use of Airsoft devices being aired on radio. The committee has also contacted the DoJ and customs to air the concerns of retailers with regards to the stopping of imported Airsoft devices. Communications on this matter are ongoing.
The IAA was also in attendance at the Salute 2012 show in the National Show Centre in Swords, Co. Dublin. The Airsoft related tents received a lot of attention from members of the public and the committee was extremely pleased with the reception and was also thankful for the work of the volunteers who provided assistance over the weekend.
The IAA committee is currently working on creating a list of recommended sites and retailers as a resource for new players. This is in response to the fact that much of the information on Affiliated sites and stores has been allowed to lapse and the committee is currently left without a list of affiliates. Communications are being sent to site owners and retailers with the requirements for being added to this list and requesting that all interested parties send their applications to the IAA as soon as possible.
In his role as Webmaster, Daniel O’Connor has reopened the IAA forums and done a lot of maintenance work on the IAA website: www.irishairsoft.ie
Daniel has also been very active in putting in place a social media policy for the IAA which can be seen in the increased activity on the IAA Facebook page and Twitter account (@irishairsoft). Between 1,500 and 3,000 people are now seeing IAA news appear regularly in their Facebook news feed. In recognition of the visibility of the IAA Facebook page to members of the public, the media and the authorities, public posting on the IAA Facebook wall was disabled in order to make sure that only official IAA statements appear there, ensuring the IAA maintains its image as a professional organisation. The forums on the IAA website are also open and remain the best place to comment on and discuss IAA statements and issues facing Irish Airsoft, and also to give feedback on the work being done by the committee.
If you need to contact the IAA you should do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can keep up to date on news from the IAA by liking the IAA Facebook page, following us on Twitter or by paying regular visits to the IAA website.
The New IAA committee is aware of a situation where one office of Customs and Revenue has started to block all imports of Airsoft equipment where the packaging is labeled as having a power output above 1 joule. The committee has been in contact with some affected retailers. As it stands the law does not allow anyone to import Airsoft equipment above 1 Joule be they individuals or retailers, and the situation faced currently is a strict implementation of the law that to this date was relaxed for Airsoft retailers (specifically IAA affiliates) as the businesses were downgrading all equipment before sale. This is not a block on all retail imports, only devices that are above 1 joule. This will represent a significant impact to retail however.
While the issue is one with Revenue and Customs policies, the committee has made our DoJ contacts aware of the situation as well as seeking a meeting with the relevant management in Customs. We have already reiterated the position of the IAA and the legitimate Airsoft business community as fully supporting the regulation of Airsoft retailers as set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2009. This change would remove many of the shipments coming into the country destined for retailers that have no intention of downgrading the equipment.
Currently the only way that importations of equipment above 1 joule could be fully legalised for retailers would require a primary legislative change. This is an area of law not on the agenda for government, and one which the community would need to debate in full before lobbying for such changes. Consideration should be given to the possibility that should the Government be encouraged to look at the laws affecting Airsoft they might decide to enact changes that would harm the sport rather than help it.
The committee has requested a meeting with the DoJ for the near future to fully re-establish communications and reiterate the position that the players of the sport fully support responsible ownership of RIF’s and prosecution of individuals that misuse the equipment.
The IAA would like to give a big shout out to the volunteers who helped out at the Salute 2012 show in Swords over the weekend from the setup and takedown of the tent to greeting visitors and telling them all about Airsoft – we couldn’t have done it without your help.
We would also like to thank everyone who visited the Airsoft village which featured a great shooting range set up by Red Barn, and a shop run by Hobby Airsoft and The Camo Shop – with special thanks to Alan from The Camo Shop for providing the tent which kept us dry all weekend.
The rain tried to put a dampener on things on Saturday but the Airsoft village had a lot of visitors – in fact it might be fair to say that at times it looked like the most popular attraction at the show. We had plenty of interest from people discovering Airsoft for the first time and the IAA tent was often packed during the day. Sunday was even busier and we wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t more than a few new players turning up on sites around the country next weekend.