Important! Softball Ireland’s EGM.

Earlier today, SL raised some serious concerns with regard to Softball Ireland’s proposed EGM and Constitutional Amendments. Those concerns are summarised below.

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Under SI’s Constitution, Article 17.3, SL is obliged to notify SI of any breach of the Softball Ireland Constitution:

17.3 OBJECTIVES AND FUNCTIONS OF A REGIONAL ASSOCIATION
c. Monitoring and assisting with the implementation and compliance with the Softball Ireland Constitution, Softball Ireland Regulations and notifying Softball Ireland of any breach of same. With regard to the proposed EGM, SL would draw your attention to Article 8.3 of the SI Constitution:

ARTICLE 8 EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

8.3 Notice of the purpose for which the Extraordinary General Meeting is being convened shall be notified to all Player, Clubs and Regional Association at least six (6) weeks prior to the date fixed for the Extraordinary General Meeting unless 75% of the Representatives present and entitled to vote at a General Meeting, in the case of extreme emergency, agree that a shorter period of notice may be given.

Since the conditions stipulated here have not been satisfied, based on our understanding, to proceed with the EGM would be unconstitutional.

With regard to the amendments proposed to be considered at the EGM on Saturday, it appears that SI is also in breach of its own Constitution by failing to adhere to Article 14.2:

ARTICLE 14 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUION
14.2 Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be publish in writing (either electronically or in hard copy) to all Members of SI at least six (6) weeks in advance of the date of the AGM or EGM.

This six week notice is also expressly stipulated in both Articles 8.4 and 14.5 (which are identical):

ARTICLE 8 EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING/ ARTICLE 14 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUION
8.4/14.5 The short notice provisions relating to the calling of an Extraordinary General Meeting may not be used in the case of an Extraordinary General Meeting being called for the purpose of considering amendment to these Articles. In such case six (6) weeks’ notice must be provided.
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We accept that by convening the EGM the Softball Ireland Board are operating with best intentions and that aspects of the their Constitution in its current form are  impediments to delivering good governance and serving the best interests of the members. We are also sympathetic to the fact that where the Board has breached the Constitution in recent months, it did so unwittingly and in circumstances where urgent action seemed warranted. In this instance, it would appear that the Board is knowingly breaching the Constitution and in circumstances where there has been greater opportunity for reflection as to what the wisest course of action is.

It is our view that that the best interests of the members would be served by adhering to the Constitutional constraints until such time as they can be Amended in accordance with the Constitution, to do otherwise sets a precedent whereby the Board has breached the Constitution without consultation with the members and may do so in the future. This falls short of the standards of accountability, transparency and good governance which the Regions and members deserve and to which Softball Leinster and  Softball Ireland aspire.

We can’t ignore the Constitution because it’s out of date, it’s out of date because we ignored it.

Softball Ireland’s Board has a responsibility is to interpret and uphold the Constitution. We believe that there is no valid interpretation of the Articles cited which supports putting the proposed Amendments to the vote without the prescribed notice. Aside from the fact that it’s unconstitutional, it places our members at a considerable disadvantage in relation to the issues at hand, having had little time to consider or suggest alternatives to the Amendments proposed, which, we would argue, is the very purpose of Article 14.2.

It has been agreed that representatives from both SL and SI will address the members at tomorrow’s AGM in relation to this matter. Following the speeches, members will be asked to vote upon whether or not they believe the EGM should proceed.

Softball Leinster has an obligation to protect our members interests and to hold SI accountable where there is a breach of the Constitution. In order to do so effectively, we need your support. We are asking that you show that support by voting to postpone the EGM in compliance with article 14.2.If you have any questions with regard to SL’s position on this, please email secretary@softballleinster.ie