Changes to the Membership – Republic of Ireland

Monday 6th January 2020

Dear Member

Ref:        Countryside Alliance Ireland – Changes to the Membership

I write to you in respect of your membership of Countryside Alliance Ireland.

As you may be aware from many media outlets, all insurance in the Republic of Ireland has been viewed as high risk by many underwriters; some have withdrawn from the Irish market and many international underwriters who remain are demanding extraordinary premium increases.  To mitigate this risk to our members, Countryside Alliance Ireland have explored a number of options so our members can continue to have a lobbying organisation defending country sports and the rural way of life at Government Departments and Agencies, TDs, MEPs and NGOs, with the additional benefit of a premium insurance product at an affordable price.

We believe that the best avenue to protect our members going forward and achieve all of these requirements is to merge the Republic of Ireland based Countryside Alliance Ireland membership with that of IFA Countryside.  This merger will result in economies of scale of a now much bigger member organisation.

With IFA Countryside, we have secured insurance cover to facilitate the transition of our game, conservation and angling members and clubs, however, at this point equine related activities will not form part of the arrangement.

IFA is Ireland’s largest farming organisation with strong links to many government departments, direct access to European agencies and most importantly the farming community on which our members are hugely dependent. IFA Countryside insurance is currently underwritten by FBD Insurance, an Irish regulated company with a strong heritage in rural Ireland.  For many years our two organisations have been culturally closely aligned in defending the interests of our members. We have always been impressed by the IFA Countryside membership and have no concerns regarding the level of member support and campaigning power that their team will provide to you, our member, post the merger.  Your current insurance cover will continue as before up to your membership expiry date (as shown on your membership card).  In the coming weeks and months, you will receive information detailing the full package of membership benefits that IFA Countryside currently provide. There will also be a series of regional information meetings held in 2020. If you would prefer not to be contacted by IFA Countryside, please contact us by Friday 10th January 2020.

Countryside Alliance Ireland has proudly serviced members in the Republic of Ireland for more than 20 years.  Countryside Alliance will continue to serve the membership based in Northern Ireland as before; the Northern Ireland membership base is unaffected by this merger.

I and the Team at Countryside Alliance Ireland would like to thank you for your support. To facilitate the transition, our Chairman Barry O’Connell and Vice Chairman Jim Fitzharris will remain closely involved with the IFA Countryside team.

It has been our pleasure to serve you.

Yours sincerely

LYALL PLANT

Chief Executive

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