"Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

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Seanie
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"Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by Seanie » Sun May 29, 2011 10:53 am

An email that was circulated by Rachel Linney recently.
Concerned ICU Members wrote:To whom it may concern.
Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members
26/05/11


Reality of our ICU as of 26thMay 2011.
  • Eight months without a CEO. How long is this going to go on?
  • There was no evidence of an immediate threat at any time to the organisation, warranting such excessive actions by the directors. That is an immediate rush down the very expensive legal and consultant investigative route.
  • These said actions taken by the directors now look to be a threat far more serious than that ever allegedly posed by the CEO, and do now appear to have the potential to destroy our organisation!
  • The ICU Office Administrator of 7 years, Anita Gordon has resigned in protest as to the direction the ICU has taken under the current executive.
  • ICU National Training Officer of the past 10 years, Connor Ryan, has now also handed in his notice as he could not continue with the current regime. Why ??
  • High Performance Grant cut from €190,000 in 2010 to €103,000 in 2011. A cut of 46%. This is an unprecedented Sports Council cut, not just in canoeing but in any sport that we are aware of. Even under the current financial climate some sports had their grants increased this year.
  • A European Regional Development Grant which is in excess of €100,000 over 3 years has been lost.
  • A disciplinary process now ongoing for over eight months with no end in sight!
  • Unknown but potentially catastrophic legal, investigative and financial liabilities, even taking into account the outcome of the recent court injunction. Where will this money come from?
  • Reputational damage for canoeing in Ireland with organisations and bodies critical to the future of our sport.
  • Appalling lack of communication from the Directors of the ICU to the membership.
  • In summary, with 3 of our 4 staff gone or suspended, our financial and legal liabilities looking ever more precarious, and directors that will not communicate with their members at a time of severe turbulence means our organisation is now in a critical state. If something is not done post haste it may be irretrievable for ever!
Update on situation regarding CEO Michael Scanlon.

Michael Scanlon would dearly like to go public. However due to the very early deployment of legal people by the directors he has been silenced while there is ongoing and pending legal and disciplinary actions. As he is the only person who is personally threatened with the traumatic loss of livelihood, financial and reputational damage he cannot overlook this risk. As soon as the opportunity prevails he plans on making a full statement.

This limitation has left Michael at a serious disadvantage and created a chasm that has been filled, by a select few, with doubt, innuendo and negative inference.

To introduce some level of fairness and to redress that imbalance we as a group of concerned members wish to comment as follows in response to the directors letter dated 31st March last;
  • FACT; While included in the said contract, the Nov 06 contract of employment did not alter or increase his salary by a single cent. The salary included had been implemented 11 months earlier in Jan 06 prior to any plan to implement any new contract.
  • FACT; Michael’s salary was last agreed by the board in 1998 with a set figure increase each year thereafter. These minutes are available and also this agreement was actually recognised by the director’s investigator. Ever since that time Michael varied his salary himself, by either taking his agreed increment, not taking any increase, taking an increased increment or actually taking a reduction in salary.
    He decided this annually depending on how he judged the ability of the ICU to fund his salary on a given year.
    On an accumulative basis he was always actually paid less than what he was actually owed.
  • Fact; For some unknown reason the investigator ignores the years when Michael took significantly less than his due despite the ICU being the accumulative net benefactor!
  • FACT; A saving to the ICU approaching €100,000 to our ICU from 1998 to the time of his suspension.
  • FACT; Pension benefits had no connection whatsoever with the Nov 06 Contract and were actually dismissed as a complaint by the Directors own investigator.
  • FACT; A saving similar to that of his salary costs to our ICU by again not taking his full entitlements and this includes the cost of his VHI.
  • FACT;The CEO did not decline to attend a disciplinary committee of the board but was refused permission by the directors to bring his solicitor. He was advised he would be allowed a trade union official or a working colleague. He was never a member of a trade union and all of his working colleagues were junior to him so he thought it very unfair to ask any of them to attend. Also as one of the members of the said sub-committee is an actual solicitor he felt the balance of power was unjustly weighed against him and felt he just could not go it alone. He did also request the case be referred to an outside body such as Just Sport Ireland or the Labour Relations Commission. This was also refused. Consequently he applied to the high court for an injunction against the process going ahead.
  • FACT;The high court declined to grant Michael the injunction as it considered he had not fully exhausted the process as prescribed by the directors and that his concerns, regarding the accuracy of the investigator’s report, could be addressed by the committee.
However it is important to understand that this is just an injunction against the process and not a court case. There are other substantive issues which have to be dealt with at a full hearing and while costs have been awarded against him, but not yet determined, these will not be decided untill there is a full hearing. Also it does not have any implication for whatever outcome may result from future court cases or disciplinary processes.
Judge Murphy recommended that Michael again be offered to attend a disciplinary hearing.
  • FACT;Incidents of failure of corporate governance have occurred but there was nothing of such a serious nature that could not have been easily, quickly and far less costly resolved and corrected through the deployment of the commonest of industrial relations disciplinary procedures. That is an internal investigation, a disciplinary hearing, application of sanctions with right of appeal. Thus obviating the need for normally very costly external investigators, solicitors and barristers from the get go. In addition with far less damage to our organisation.
  • FACT; Corporate governance is first and foremost the responsibility of the board of directors. The continuous abdication of duty by successive ICU Boards, in regard to detailed issues of governance, created an environment in which the CEO was left to do everything himself. Consequently there was no segregation of duties between Operations Management and direction of governance. This was done on a basis of trust and any financial changes made have been always recorded in the accounts and audited.
  • FACT; The corroborating evidence for the above is contained both in the many years of very detailed audits covering all of this period, and in data collated especially for this investigation.
It was never the wish or the intention of any of the 17 clubs who called for an EDM to debate their concerns via email or in an open forum. Open public access forums, should not and have never been an appropriate place for matters of serious concern to the clubs and individual members of the Irish Canoe Union. The clubs wished to address none other than their concerns for the reputational, financial and organisational well-being of the Irish Canoe Union. This was and absolutely remains their sole concern.

The only proper, appropriate, constitutional way to discuss and address these concerns is within the structure and professional confines of an EDM.

In compliance with the constitution there is neither obligation nor requirement that any club seeking an EDM must explain to the executive in advance of an EDM the reasons why.

The legal action referred to in the correspondence of April 28th, a legal process begun by the directors themselves, is concerned with the process of the interaction between the CEO and the Union and it would be the view that this has no bearing on the holding of an EDM to discuss the reputational, financial and well-being of the Union.

The constitutional date for the holding of this EDM, 12th May, has now been surpassed and in consequence the ICU directors themselves are now in contravention of the ICU constitution.

In keeping with the constitution of the Irish Canoe Union should this EDM not be called before June 12thth we recommend to all clubs to proceed with holding an EDM.

What’s going on here is just not right and we all have a duty to a member to put it right!

Should you as a club agree with this letter please confirm your continued support for the holding of an EDM as per our previous update.

We will be in touch following your reply.

Yours Sincerely,
Concerned ICU Members.

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Seanie
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Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by Seanie » Sun May 29, 2011 10:56 am

I’m pretty amazed that another email of this nature is being circulated. I would urge everyone to at least skim read the judgement of Mr. Justice Roderick Murphy.

It’s possible to go through this latest email line by line and point out the repetition, lies, red herrings and inaccuracies but I’d doubt many people would even begin to read the post. In lieu of that I’ll mainly be pasting parts of the high court judgement.

Simply “Concerned Members”:
Concerned ICU Members wrote: Michael Scanlon would dearly like to go public.

Saying that Mick Scanlon would love to ‘go public’ is disingenuous, he took it to the High Court and its hard to believe that Mr Scanlons input hasn't been sought or reflected in this email and the previous emails sent.

The email is not signed by anyone, attributing it to “Concerned ICU Members”. However its been circulated by Rachel Linney, who has previously sent out similar emails. Ms Linney, her boyfriend Brendan O’Connell (the co-signatory on the ‘backdated contract’), Mick Scanlon and others have held several secret meetings at the Green Isle Hotel, drafting emails such as this and discussing this situation.


Denial of Legal Representation at Disciplinary Hearings:
Concerned ICU Members wrote: FACT; The CEO did not decline to attend a disciplinary committee of the board but was refused permission by the directors to bring his solicitor. He was advised he would be allowed a trade union official or a working colleague.
Justice Murphy found this allegation to be untrue 13 days before this email was sent out.
Justice Murphy - High Court Judgement wrote: 10.10 The court is satisfied that the plaintiff [Mr. Scanlon] was not informed that he was to be denied legal representation at any disciplinary committee hearing.
Annual salary - “Saving the ICU money”:
Concerned ICU Members wrote:
  • FACT; While included in the said contract, the Nov 06 contract of employment did not alter or increase his salary by a single cent. The salary included had been implemented 11 months earlier in Jan 06 prior to any plan to implement any new contract.
    ….
  • FACT; Michael’s salary was last agreed by the board in 1998 with a set figure increase each year thereafter. These minutes are available and also this agreement was actually recognised by the director’s investigator. Ever since that time Michael varied his salary himself, by either taking his agreed increment, not taking any increase, taking an increased increment or actually taking a reduction in salary.
    He decided this annually depending on how he judged the ability of the ICU to fund his salary on a given year.
    On an accumulative basis he was always actually paid less than what he was actually owed.
  • Fact; For some unknown reason the investigator ignores the years when Michael took significantly less than his due despite the ICU being the accumulative net benefactor!
  • FACT; A saving to the ICU approaching €100,000 to our ICU from 1998 to the time of his suspension.
  • FACT; Pension benefits had no connection whatsoever with the Nov 06 Contract and were actually dismissed as a complaint by the Directors own investigator.
  • FACT; A saving similar to that of his salary costs to our ICU by again not taking his full entitlements and this includes the cost of his VHI.

Justice Murphy - High Court Judgement wrote: 10.2 Comparing the exhibit ( Tab12) regarding annual salaries due to be paid in - annual salaries actually paid and the equivalent in relation to pension contributions the court, while acknowledging that this is a matter for the disciplinary panel rather than for this Court, notes that there is an issue as to whether the increase in the former €5,080 a year and of €3,080 for pensions (Tab 13) was to be paid for that year only or for all years as applied by the plaintiff [Mr. Scanlon]. Moreover, the proportion of the pension contribution in 2010 of €50,610 as compared to the salary in 2010 of €96,700 which the plaintiff [Mr. Scanlon] claims were due and owing to him would appear to be disproportionate and unusual. The 1997 figures show a pension of some 10% plus when compared to salary.


It was all the ICU boards fault!:
Concerned ICU Members wrote:
  • FACT;Incidents of failure of corporate governance have occurred but there was nothing of such a serious nature that could not have been easily, quickly and far less costly resolved and corrected through the deployment of the commonest of industrial relations disciplinary procedures. That is an internal investigation, a disciplinary hearing, application of sanctions with right of appeal. Thus obviating the need for normally very costly external investigators, solicitors and barristers from the get go. In addition with far less damage to our organisation.
  • FACT; Corporate governance is first and foremost the responsibility of the board of directors. The continuous abdication of duty by successive ICU Boards, in regard to detailed issues of governance, created an environment in which the CEO was left to do everything himself. Consequently there was no segregation of duties between Operations Management and direction of governance. This was done on a basis of trust and any financial changes made have been always recorded in the accounts and audited.
  • FACT; The corroborating evidence for the above is contained both in the many years of very detailed audits covering all of this period, and in data collated especially for this investigation.

Justice Murphy - High Court Judgement wrote:10.7 The averment[allegation] in the second affidavit of the plaintiff [Mr. Scalon] that he had overall responsibility for control and activities and authority to enter into contracts cannot, in the court's view at this stage of an interlocutory hearing, form the basis of avoiding the agreed procedure which equally applied to the plaintiff as Chief Executive.

and
Independent Investigation wrote: There was no record of that authority properly devolving on him nor that the failure to properly report was inexplicable, not acceptable standard where public monies were involved, was a significant management failure and not excused by claims of that the Board ought to have known or could have known by reading the accounts.


The most important part of the Judgement:
Justice Murphy - High Court Judgement wrote: 10.3 The Court is satisfied that Mr. Scanlon was treated fairly and that the rules of natural justice applied in that there was an informal meeting between himself and Mr. Devoy and Mr. Dunne who were directors of the company that the matter was referred to an independent investigator and a report made to the Board. It is of particular significance that the plaintiff was afforded the right to apply and in the latter stages of the investigation was accompanied and advised by his solicitor. It is of further significance that the investigator upheld seven of the sixteen matters under investigation as being a serious matter which was to be referred to the Board for disciplinary hearing.

Judgement-1.pdf
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Adrians
Posts: 212
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Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by Adrians » Sun May 29, 2011 12:42 pm

Gobsmacked does not come close to describing that letter and the ideas of "Concerned ICU Members"!

leftism
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:14 pm

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by leftism » Sun May 29, 2011 11:48 pm

I have it on good authority that committee of Salmon Leap submitted a letter to the ICU executive last week, withdrawing their support for an EDM. I would imagine that several of the other clubs which signed the original petition have or will also withdraw their support. Following the successful High Court decision, these "concerned members" no longer have the mandate or quorum of clubs necessary to call an EDM.

kev
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by kev » Mon May 30, 2011 11:55 am

Seems to be the same tune coming from the same people. I'd be interested in seeing what clubs are supporting an EDM or the most recent letter that was circulated.

J.K.
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:53 am

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by J.K. » Mon May 30, 2011 12:42 pm

"Concerned ICU Members?" Hah, that reminds me of cranks writing in to the local paper complaining about their neighbour's dog barking, and then signing off "Concerned in Knocknacarra." The tone of this letter reads the same way too.

Put your name to it or don't send it, anything else is just cowardly.

mikef
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:39 am

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by mikef » Mon May 30, 2011 2:42 pm

Sorry to go off topic but what is the Irish Whitewater Association kev?

http://www.iwwa.ie

Is this a recent thing since the troubles the park west HQ?

mikef

kev
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by kev » Mon May 30, 2011 10:35 pm

Hi Mike,

Prefer not to drag the thread too far off topic but it was set up in 2009 originally and was revived earlier this year.

The primary reason behind it was that it would give ordinary paddlers a voice on issues that affected them. Its obvious that one of these is ICU governance, which I think a lot of people agree needs to be more transparent and to be easier for members to get involved in.

The other issue is access, it hasnt really been developed yet but its definitely something big. Its something that paddlers can drive in conjunction with help from the ICU to liaise with other interested parties - fisheries, access groups etc

Thats my take on Irish White Water Association, hope it kinda sums it up. There is a little more detail on the website and definitely be interested to hear from anybody that has an interest.

leftism
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:14 pm

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by leftism » Tue May 31, 2011 10:51 am

Fact I'm just after attempting for the second time to read through that email and it is so poorly structured and confusing that i gave up once again.

Fact Writing FACT in bold font at the start of every point does not in my opinion form the basis of a coherent arguement, especially when many of the statements are less fact and more opinion (and in some cases lies)...

Does anyone actually have Rachel Linney's email address? It'd be nice if all ICU members were afforded the opportunity to reply directly to the author and perhaps voice opposition to the current steps being taken by these so-called "concerned" members.

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Seanie
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Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by Seanie » Tue May 31, 2011 4:55 pm

leftism wrote:It'd be nice if all ICU members were afforded the opportunity to reply directly to the author and perhaps voice opposition to the current steps being taken by these so-called "concerned" members.
Funny you mention that, each time an email like this is posted I email that group of clubs pointing them to the discussion on this forum.

BOB
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:39 pm

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by BOB » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:00 pm

Dear Kev
Re your posting
any member of the ICU can contact the office or better still a board member for information at any time
Regarding governance I have proposed the readin and adoption of the Irish Sports Council governance guidleines (excellent material), to date this has been delayed at board meetings due to the other more pressing matters, but I would expected the ISC governance and financial controls (amoung other documents) to be adopted before very long certainly before the ICU ADM.
Also as the ICU environment and acess officer I have tried to revive the position despite inital oppostion from certain parites who would have prefered to maintain the status quo. I would hope when the ICU web page is overhauled to have a dedicated section for environmantal and access issues. In the meantime congrats to the IWW website owners and supporters for keeping it so active - perhaps you might consider taking an active role in the ICU website in the near future ?

BOB

roshaw_87
Posts: 55
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Location: Galway

Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by roshaw_87 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:17 pm

tried to message you Breandan but can't for some reason. Can you contact me @ 0879862517 or email me @ [email protected] . Delight to hear your interested in re establishing access officer as a important part of the ICU.
087 9862517/ [email protected]
Intelligence is what you use when you dont know what to do

canned
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Re: "Urgent Update from Concerned ICU Members"

Post by canned » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Irish paddling really is a very small community - I think the waters are being muddied all over the place. Each of the emails, replies, forum posts have their own note of cynacism and that's hardly surprising.
It's easy to be cynical seeing as there are obviously a lot of inter realationships within this small community. I'm sure there is an amount of truth and/or good intentions withing this call for EDM (though, personally I think it's misguided) but really - what's going to come of all this?

This has become a lot less about what a blind man can see is an improper situation. You simply cannot have the CEO of an NGB acting improperly with money. It seems clear to me that Mick Scanlon has to go.

When it comes to people supporting and opposing particular individuals and groups - well it's fairly obvious to me that an exec which is made up of people who are from a very small field of clubs with specific discipline interests will not represent all paddlers.

I'm sure much of what is happening will never come out - that's because I'm pretty sure much of what's happening is based on personalities, dislikes, suspicions.

So what shape of ICU will we have after it's all done? Apparently the "Concerned ICU Members" think this will all kill the ICU.
As far as I'm concerened, I have major sympathy for those involved in competition if that's the case, but it won't stop me paddling in the morning......

In my opinion, it's kind of time to just let what is happening happen and hope that there are enough people of sound and reasonable mind at the next AGM to encourage healthy steps rather than getting into character assassination (of whoever)

Tony

[OT]P.S. Should we NEED an IWWA? Surely if we do, we're saying the ICU does nothing whitewater? If we're saying that, we should be demanding it from the ICU and not needing to go out and form a group.
P.P.S. When it comes to access - I hope it means more in line with a "right to roam" style than local agreements which simply do not work and make no sense whatsoever.[/OT]

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