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The Venue

Standing Committee & Membership Committee

Standing Committee

The role of a Standing Committee is to propose and advise on policies, programmes of activities and codes of practice within its sphere of interest in accordance with guidelines and budgets set from time to time by the Board of Management and the Council.

The Society has five Standing Committees:

  • The Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
  • The Committee of Science and Technology
  • The Committee of Arts
  • The Equestrian Committee
  • The Committee of Enterprise


Each Standing Committee consists of Members of Council appointed by the Council and the elected Members. The Chair and Members of the Board of Management of the Council are ex-officio Members of all Standing Committees.

A Standing Committee may appoint working groups to perform tasks appropriate to the role of that Committee and co-opt to the working group people they feel will help to advance the performance of the tasks.

Information on the Committees' activities is published in the Annual Report.

Elections are held annually to fill vacancies on the Standing Committees.


Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
The RDS Foundation Agriculture and Rural Affairs programme aims to promote best practice and efficiency in farming to ensure farm household profitability and sustainability in Ireland.

Appointed by the Council: Elected Members:
Patricia Byrne (Chair) Denis K. Bergin
Dr Michael Carey Denis Fay
Tom Kirley John Kiersey
Faith Ponsonby Dr Mary Ryan
Dermot A. Power Maura Waters
Professor Cathal O'Donoghue  


Committee of Science and Technology

The RDS Foundation Science and Technology programme aims to encourage the development of science and mathematical skills in primary school aged children by fostering education innovation.

Appointed by the Council: Elected Members:
Dr Sheila Donegan Dr James Colville
Daniel Fitzgibbon Evelyn Cusack
Ingrid Hook Kate Madden
Christopher Hone Barbara Power Smith
Professor Ronan McNulty Amy Worrall
Tony O'Brien Wesley Keith Young (Chair)


Committee of Arts

The RDS Foundation Arts programme provides a platform to support the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual art, craft or music.

Appointed by the Council: Elected Members:
Seamus Crimmins Marie Bourke
Dr Philip Dodd (Chair) Cliona Buckley
Ian Fox Mary Brennan (Conway)
Emmet Kane Edith Forrest
Noel Kelly Katharine Maurer
Gaby Smyth  


Equestrian Committee

The RDS Foundation Equestrian programme aims to support the Irish Sport Horse breeder and producer by showcasing the best Irish bred horses, developing a market place for Irish bred horses, encouraging the highest standards in breeding for purpose, horse welfare, ethical training and effective horsemanship and promoting international jumping by the hosting of a CSIO to Top League standards.

Appointed by the Council: Elected Members:
John Crowley Paula Cullen
Lt Col Tom Freyne Jane Darragh
Gillian Kyle Kate Horgan
Comdt John Ledingham (Chair) Antonia Lehane
Flor Madden Lt Col Brian MacSweeney
Olga Scully  


Committee of Enterprise

Encouraging enterprise and supporting innovation
The RDS Foundation Industry and Commerce programme aims to help drive Ireland’s economic recovery by supporting the business performance of Irish-based companies and providing networking and information-sharing opportunities for business leaders, young entrepreneurs and influencers.

Appointed by the Council: Elected Members:
Professor Catherine Adley Dermot Breen
Sheila Horkan Pat Flood
James McGing Geraldine Kearney
Eoin McVey Jillian Mahon
Dr Charles Mollan Rebecca Markey
John F. Whelan Barry O'Dowd


*Those appointed by the Council to fill a vacancy since the last election.


Membership Committee

The role and responsibilities of the Membership Committee include:

  • To advance Members’ interests;
  • To assist and monitor of the implementation of the membership recruitment and retention strategy;
  • The reporting of issues arising in relation to the Membership objectives with appropriate recommendations;
  • To evaluate and consider the input from the Standing Committees, Members and external organisations, and its analysis and implementation, to achieve the Membership objectives;
  • Committee members will act as ambassadors for Membership recruitment and retention within the Society.

The 12 member Membership Committee meets up to six times per year. Six of its members are RDS Members directly elected to the Council who are appointed by the Council to serve on the Membership Committee. The remaining six members are RDS Members who, following an open call expressed an interest to serve on the Membership Committee and in tandem with the published criteria were recommended by the Governace Committee to the Council who appointed them to serve on the Committee.

The current members of the Membership Committee are:

Appointed by the Council Nominated Members
Peter Cavan John Fanning
David Dodd Mike McDonnell
Patrick Downes Rory O'Sullivan Hennessey
Stevan Griffiths Dr Andrew Power
Bernardine Hurley Diane Scott
Dermot Kelly Paul Slattery


Upon completion of their three-year term of office, all Membership Committee members are eligible to go forward, through the election / Governance Committee process, for re-election / re-appointment for a second three year term. Having completed two successive three year terms, members must retire and are not eligible for election / appointment to the Membership Committee for two years following the completion of his/her second term.


For further information, please contact:

Cliona Deegan

Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0) 1 240 7221
Email: registrar@rds.ie



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