Irish Shooting Politics

December 17, 2009


Filed under: Politics — Mark Dennehy @ 12:48 pm
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In the traditional spirit of our community, which loves nothing more than to fragment under stress, we learn that Yet Another Group has been formed by one of our regular… contributors to the overall poor image our community is somewhat handicapped by.

One has to wonder – thus far, by our count, this comes to five the number of groups that this founding individual has been involved in, all of which have since suffered an ignominious end result to one extent or another, and while one has been rescued from oblivion by a small cadre of dedicated individuals who put ego second to effort, one wonders why any prospective member would fail to contemplate the track record of failure involved here.

Looking back objectively, we note the politics that the creation of the NRPAI triggered, and while in all fairness the genesis of this strife lies squarely at the feet of the Irish Sports Council, the degree to which that strife was amplified in the final year or three of the NRPAI’s existence (and the means of its transformation to the SSAI — or indeed its suspension, depending on how you interpret the relevant legislation) is mainly a function of the… direction of one individual.

Looking back objectively, we can also evaluate the contributions of FLAG, which took on more risk than its funding could cover, exposing the NRPAI (and subsequently the SSAI) and all of the constituent members of those bodies to the tender mercies of the Sherrif and the Bailiffs had a case ever been lost; and since no case was ever actually won by FLAG (at best, an out-of-court settlement was obtained, which was necessarily a failure from the point of view of those expending time, effort and money to obtain a legal precedent), the knowledge of this fact was a source of considerable stress for many.

Looking back objectively on the end days of the IPSA is a difficult task, as the topic is still sensitive for many, and for good reason. The IPSA represents an unprecedented moment in Irish history, when the State banned an internationally-recognised sport (all international internecine conflict set to one side, at the end of the day IPSC shooting is still a sport enjoyed by a large number of people in safety. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but neither is any other sport). Speaking purely subjectively for a moment, this author personally felt the writing was on the wall for the IPSA the day he learnt of the involvement of one particular individual, and subsequent conversations both witnessed and learnt of, seem to bear out the thesis that this individual’s reputation preceded the IPSA in many a meeting to their detriment.

Looking back objectively on the initial posts on this blog, one notes that subsequent to this individual’s track record being brought to the attention of those involved, the group rethought their approach dramatically. One cannot determine the thought processes involved, but subjectively one could imagine that a track record which consists of expended effort for no return, politics for no gain, division and strife as standard operating practice, and a knowledge that such a track record was widely known of in the circles where the group was considering operating, led to such a reconsideration of the probability of success that the effort was deemed to be detrimental to the efforts of the relevant NGBs at the time.

One can only hope that this judgement, which seems perfectly sound and reasonable to this author, will be repeated in this case. Our community has sufficient difficulties with which to occupy its available manpower ten times over; creating more to salve the ego of one individual seems, to this author at least, to be more anti-shooting than the worst excesses of the worst holders of the Minister’s office in the past four decades.


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