Sad passing of Lyall Plant former CAI CEO
It is with the greatest of sadness to learn of the passing of Lyall Plant, former Chief Executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland.
Firstly, on behalf of Countryside Alliance Ireland and our members North and South, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest condolences to his wife, Pauline, and their three children. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and the wider family at this very difficult time.
As many of you will know, Lyall had been battling a long-term illness and had been on the waiting list for a lung transplant for some time. However, this did not stop him fighting for our members up until his retirement earlier this year.
Secondly, I would like to take a brief look back at the outstanding work Lyall has carried out on behalf of our members and his achievements over the years.
Lyall was an outstanding leader and ambassador for Countryside Alliance Ireland and country sports in general. He worked tirelessly at all levels, lobbying and negotiating with decision-makers in relation to a wide range of controversial issues impacting on the rural community. These include dog control, dog identification and dog-breeding legislation, widening access to shooting opportunities for young people through the Justice Bill No2, the use of lead shot and the various threats to hunting with hounds.
Lyall was also involved in PAW NI from its very beginnings. He provided a lot of expertise and support to the anti-poaching campaigns and chairing the Poaching Subgroup for a number of years.
His work frequently involved liaising with other representative organisations to provide a united front. Organising support for the RISE campaign in ROI and facilitating a protocol for hunts between the UFU and the Northern Ireland Masters of Hounds Association to name but a few.
Lyall also did a lot to support grass roots members and clubs through the provision of advice on Firearms issues, local lobbying, risk assessments, club constitutions and the practical implications of sporting & environmental legislation. He provided sponsorship for club competitions through the provision of prizes and helped make club activities safer with the provision of, or subsidy for, defibrillators.
He also restructured the membership administration at CAI, leading a dedicated team who were committed to the rural way of life and partook in country sports, thus ensuring the highest levels of service. This work on behalf of members lead to a significant increase in membership across the whole of Ireland, giving a greater voice to our rural communities and making CAI a leading organisation in the protection of country sports and the country way of life. We are deeply saddened by his passing and will remember Lyall as a true gentleman who was devoted to his family but also devoted much of his life to the promotion of country sports in Ireland.
John Clarke, former chair of CAI said ‘ “I am so sorry to learn of Lyall’s passing. He bore his long and debilitating illness with great fortitude and dignity. Lyall was an inspiration to many with his determination and resilience. He was a great servant of Countryside Alliance, greatly respected by all who knew him or had the pleasure of working with him. My sincere condolences to his wife Pauline and the family circle at this sad time”.
Barry O’Connell, former chair of CAI said “It is with great sadness that I learned of Lyall’s passing. Lyall was an exceptional CEO of Countryside Alliance Ireland, he had a passion for all country sports and the rural way of life, Lyall’s enthusiasm and joy was contagious and always lifted the tone of any discussion. Lyall had a particular skill in bringing together many varying parties often of opposing views for the common good. He will be greatly missed by all who enjoy country pursuits across the island of Ireland. My condolences to his wife Pauline, his Family, Friends and his Countryside Alliance colleagues both Past and Present”.
Gary McCartney, Regional Director CAI, said “Lyall’s record shows the true passion he had for country sports and our rural way of life. His determination and enthusiasm was infectious and despite his illness, nothing stopped him working hard on behalf of our members. Lyall was a man highly respected by all those he came in contact with across Ireland. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Pauline his wife, his three children and his grandchildren whom he very much adored”.