Constitution for a Muintir na Tíre
Approved by the Charities Section of the Revenue Commission November 1995 for Councils seeking exemption from Tax as being established for Charitable Purposes only
The Council shall be known as Schull and District Community Council, (SDCC) hereafter referred to as the Council, and shall cover the area of Schull County Cork and its environs as defined on the Ordnance Survey maps held by the Council.
The main aims of the Council shall be:
- The involvement of all the people in Schull and its environs in the promotion of the educational, cultural and economic welfare of the whole community, regardless of class or political persuasion.
- In furtherance of the main object, the powers of the Council shall be:
a. to represent each and every member of the community and the community as a whole, in dealings with local governmental statutory bodies, and other agencies in seeking, when considered necessary, technical, financial or other assistance in the promotion of the common good, and to advise and assist, where possible, the local authority in the exercise of its office in the locality.
b. to acquire and hold by rental, lease, purchase, donation or otherwise, such property and effects as shall be necessary or expedient to attain those ends.
c. to affiliate with and function as a constituent council of the organisation known as “Muintir na Tíre”.
All persons in the locality are deemed to be members of the community and providing they have reached voting age, which shall be EIGHTEEN YEARS, are entitled to nominate candidates for, and to take part in the election of the Council.
- The Council shall be elected for a period of three years.
- The Council shall consist of:
a. Elected representatives or representatives from each district as defined by the Council and approved by a General Meeting of the community, such representatives to be elected by ballot by the members of the community as defined in Rule 3 above.
b. Nominated representatives from voluntary organisations as defined by the Council, and co-options. One of the co-options may be held by a young person between 16 and 18 years of age. The combined nominations and co-options should not exceed one third of the overall number of the Council.
c. Nominated representatives and co-options have to be proposed and seconded and accepted by two-thirds or more of the members present.
- A vacancy arising in the number of the elected representatives of the districts shall be filled by the candidate from the same district having polled the next largest number of votes at the last election. In the event of there being no such candidate able and willing to act, the Council shall have the power to appoint a member of the community to fill the vacancy. The filling of the vacancy shall be effective until the next election.
- The Council shall be elected for a period of three years. It shall, by nomination and secret ballot, elect from its members an Executive Committee comprising: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and a PRO. It shall be permissible for the position of PRO to be held by one of the other officers. This election shall take place at the first meeting of the Council after the AGM or as soon as possible thereafter.
No particular office shall be held for more than three consecutive years and no member may seek the same office until a year has elapsed.
- In the event of the Council embarking on a major project involving property, legal advice shall be sought regarding a system that would limit liability.
- The Council shall meet as often as may be necessary but at least once in each of any ten months of the year.
- Unexplained absence from three successive meetings of the Council, may be understood and taken as implicit resignation from the Council by the member concerned.
- One more than a third of the number of members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of any meetings of the Council, properly convened.
- The Council, may, from time to time, appoint such sub-committees as it may consider necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying out specific projects and such sub-committees shall conduct their business in accordance with directions of the Council. It shall, where appropriate, appoint one of its members as chairperson of each sub-committee and he/she shall submit a written progress report of the sub-committee at each meeting of the Council unless otherwise directed by the Council.
- Sub-committees shall be encouraged to co-opt members of the community considered suitable for the particular work on hand or because of their leadership and skills.
- The Executive Committee shall be responsible for all external negotiations on behalf of the Council and sub-committees. It may, however, delegate the authority to members of the Council or of the sub-committees.
- The Executive Committee shall have the right to meet in private from time to time.
- The Executive Committee shall have the power to convene Council meetings.
- The Chairperson at any meeting shall, in the event of a tie, have a second or casting vote.
- The Council may, from time to time, make bye-laws not inconsistent with this Constitution, as it may consider necessary or desirable for the management and well-being of any subsidiary activities.
- The Council may not rescind any decision already taken or repeal any bye-laws without prior notice of motion being served on all the Council members and such rescission or repeal being approved by two thirds majority of members present.
V. GENERAL MEETINGS
- The Annual General Meeting of the Council shall be held in the first quarter of each year.
- All members of the local community and the Community Council shall be given 14 days notice of the date, time and venue of the AGM.
- All members of the local community are entitled to attend the AGM and to take part in the general discussion. Only members of the Community Council may vote at the AGM. The Council, in voting, shall take cognisance of the views expressed by the local community.
- The AGM shall include reports from officers of the Council and its sub-committees followed by a general discussion.
- One more than a third of elected members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of the AGM.
- A Special General Meeting may be called by resolution of the Council for the purpose of discussion of an urgent matter which has serious or urgent implications for the Council and the local community as a whole.
- An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by:
a. A resolution of the Council, or
b. By written request of at least fifty members of the local community aged 18 years or over.
In both cases the reason for the EGM must be clearly stated. The written request must include the names and addresses of those requesting the meeting, as well as stating on each page of the signatories the purpose for which the meeting was being called.
- The Extraordinary General Meeting must be held as soon as possible after the written request has been handed to the Secretary of the Council, allowing for 14 days notice to be given to the Council and the local community as for an AGM.
- All members of the local community are entitled to attend the EGM and to take part in the general discussion. Only members of the Community Council may vote at the EGM, taking cognisance of the views expressed by the local community.
- All moneys and funds of the Council, shall be deposited as soon as:
a. An account is opened in a Financial Institution as designated by a resolution of the Council in the name of the Council, by the Chairperson and Secretary. All cheques and other withdrawal of funds, moneys or cash on behalf of the Council shall be signed by the Treasurer and Chairperson or Secretary or any other person or persons nominated by the Council.
b. Moneys and funds in the Financial Institution belonging to the Council may be put on deposit in the same manner to gain interest if sufficient moneys are available at any time.
- The members of the Community Council shall not incur any personal liability and be indemnified from the assets of the Council. If during a period of two consecutive months there is a deficiency of more than €635.00 in the net current assets then the Council must call a special meeting to consider the matter.
- The Treasurer shall only be accountable for such moneys as he/she may actually receive.
- The financial year of the Council shall end on the thirty-first day of December in each year, to which date the accounts shall be balanced and a Statement shall be prepared for the next Annual General Meeting.
- Annual certified or audited accounts must be kept and made available to the Revenue Commissioners on request.
The Council must take out a Public Liability Insurance to indemnify members against all or any claims, damages, demands, actions, costs or proceedings arising from, or in any way connected with the employment of any person or persons or company or any person or persons who may at any time render voluntary assistance or help in any manner whatever to the Council.
The Council shall endeavour to maintain continuous contact with the community which it represents, and to keep people informed of all plans, activities and progress by means of periodical newsletters, information days, exhibitions, etc.
IX. INTERPRETATION OF CONSTITUTION
The Council is the sole authority for the interpretation of this Constitution and of any rules or bye-laws made thereunder.
X. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
Only an extraordinary or Annual General Meeting shall have the power to alter or amend this constitution, written notice of any proposed alteration or amendment shall be submitted to the Secretary not later than thirty days before the date of such a meeting. Any such amendment or alteration must be carried by a two thirds majority of all present and entitled to vote. All members of the community must be notified of any proposed amendment not less than seven days before the meeting.
Note: No additions, alterations or amendments shall be made to or in the provision of this constitution for the time being in force unless the same shall have been previously approved by the Revenue Commissioners.
If required elect Trustees and confirm them at each Annual General Meeting.
XII. INCOME AND PROPERTY
The income and property of the Council, wherever derived, shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the main object of the Council as set forth in this Constitution and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit, to the members of the Council. Provided that nothing herein shall prevent the payment, in good faith, of reasonable and proper remuneration to any officer or servant of the Council, or to any member of the Council, in return for any services actually rendered to the Council, nor prevent the payment of interest at a rate not exceeding five per cent per annum on money lent or reasonable and proper rent for premises demised or let by any member of the Council, but so that no member of the Community Council shall be appointed to any salaried office of the Council or any office of the Council paid by fees, and that no remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth shall be given by the Council to any member of such committee, except repayment of out-of-pocket expenses and interest at the aforesaid on money lent or reasonable and proper rent for premises demised or shall not apply to any payment to any company of which a member of the Community Council may be a member, and in which such member shall not hold more than one-hundredth part of the capital, and such member shall not be bound to account for any share of profit(s) he may receive in respect of any such payment.
If upon the winding-up or dissolution of the Muintir na Tíre Community Council there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Council but shall be given or transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions having main objects similar to the main objects of the Council and which shall prohibit the distribution of its or their income and property among its or their members to an extent at least as great as is imposed on the Council under or by virtue of Clause 12 hereof, such institution or institutions to be determined by the members of the Council at or before the time of dissolution, and if and so far as effect cannot be given to such provisions, then to some charitable object.