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Irish Sailing Optimist Squad Investigation is Launched

27th October 2017
Irish Sailing Optimist Squad Investigation is Launched

An 'independent external' investigation into Saturday's Irish Sailing Optimist performance squad incident during Storm Brian at Dun Laoghaire is underway.

According to a statement on the association website last night, Irish Sailing President Jack Roy and CEO Harry Hermon have appointed Philip Scallan as independent external lead investigator. Scallan has already mapped out the areas of investigation to the President and requested additional time to investigate and consult with all parties.

It is understood a board meeting of the national governing body was held last night.

Roy commented: “Our priority is always the safety of our sailors and we are determined to establish all the facts relating to this incident. We look forward to receiving Mr Scallan’s report and implementing his recommendations so that we learn as much as we can from what happened and maintain the confidence of sailors and their families in our programmes”.

The statement says Scallan is a Safety Officer with many years of experience assessing and implementing safety standards in Irish and international sailing events. He will be assisted in this external investigation by Ger Keeling, a marine engineer and former CEO of the International Marine Rescue Federation who works with both Irish Water Safety and the RNLI.

According to the association, Scallan, who is based in the UK, will be travelling to Dun Laoghaire over the weekend and requests that any parent, sailor, witness, coach or any other party who feels that their contribution is relevant to the investigation, to get in contact with him promptly at [email protected]

Following a review of all the information received, and consultations with all the parties involved, Scallan and Keeling will also review Irish Sailing’s health and safety protocols before presenting their report which is expected to be finalised by mid-November and published.

Published in ISA
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Irish Sailing

The Irish Sailing Association, also known as Irish Sailing, is the national governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing in Ireland.

Founded in 1945 as the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, it became the Irish Yachting Association in 1964 and the Irish Sailing Association in 1992.

Irish Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing and a member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The Association is governed by a volunteer board, elected by the member clubs. Policy Groups provide the link with members and stakeholders while advising the Board on specialist areas. There is a professional administration and performance staff, based at the headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Core functions include the regulation of sailing education, administering racing and selection of Irish sailors for international competition. It is the body recognised by the Olympic Federation of Ireland for nominating Irish qualified sailors to be considered for selection to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. Irish sailors have medalled twice at the Olympics – David Wilkins and Jamie Wikinson at the 1980 games, and Annalise Murphy at the 2016 games.

The Association, through its network of clubs and centres, offers curriculum-based training in the various sailing, windsurfing and powerboating disciplines. Irish Sailing qualifications are recognised by Irish and European Authorities. Most prominent of these are the Yachtmaster and the International Certificate of Competency.

It runs the annual All-Ireland Championships (formerly the Helmsman’s Championship) for senior and junior sailors.

The Association has been led by leading lights in the sailing and business communities. These include Douglas Heard, Clayton Love Junior, John Burke and Robert Dix.

Close to 100 sailors have represented Ireland at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Membership of Irish Sailing is either by direct application or through membership of an affiliated organisation. The annual membership fee ranges from €75 for families, down to €20 for Seniors and Juniors.

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