Dear Friends and Fellow Members
As President of the Irish Bowling Association I am delighted that I have been given the honour and privilege to address you all at the start of the 2017 season.
Firstly, I would like to thank the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League for nominating me as your President, IBA Council for endorsing that nomination and the IBA members for accepting it. I consider this an incredible personal privilege and a great honour for my own club Northern Ireland Civil Service to have one of its members as IBA President.
In 2017 we look forward to the B.I.B.C. Championships and Senior Internationals at Belmont Bowling Club at the end of June. I know that all of our best wishes go to Jim Humphreys as President of the B.I. B.C. and I would earnestly appeal to you, if at all possible, to come along and support the players who will be representing Ireland at Belmont and also our Junior Internationals as they travel slightly further afield to Llandrindrod Wells in early September.
I extend my sincere congratulations to all those celebrating special events this year, especially the Northern Ireland Private Greens Bowling League on attaining their Centenary and to the two oldest clubs in Ireland, Belfast and Kenilworth, as they celebrate their 175th and 125th Anniversaries respectively. I wish them well and look forward to joining them in their celebrations.
My presidential year started really well with the news that Gary Kelly and Ian McClure had won silver medals in the pairs at World Bowls in Christchurch, New Zealand and this was followed a few days later when Simon Martin, Neil Mulholland, Ian and Marty McHugh won bronze medals in the fours discipline. This is a fantastic achievement and one of which they should be justly proud. My heartiest congratulations go to all.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish our new International Team Manager Neil Booth, and indeed all our competing International teams, continued success in 2017 as they aim to keep Ireland at the upper levels of the world rankings.
Finally, I wish everybody an enjoyable and successful season and I look forward to meeting as many of you as I possibly can on my travels during the year.