11Nov ACI’s first general meeting held in Dublin

Approximately 300 individuals from around the country attended the ACI’s General Meeting in the Regency Hotel, Dublin, following the ACP AGM. Following a progress report from the Steering Group the meeting considered the draft Statement of Objectives. A wide-ranging discussion followed after which – ‘on a show of hands’- the Statement of Objectives was endorsed by an over-whelming majority.

The second major item on the agenda was consideration of the ‘next steps’ for the ACI. The Steering Group proposed a plan which included provision for a formal launch early in 2013, the establishment of an ACI website and a series of regional meetings in 2013 culminating in a first AGM later in the year.

The Steering Group was mandated to pursue the plan as outlined

The Steering Group urged those who support the ACI to consider joining an existing lay group which supports the initiative or else to establish a new group in their local parish or area to promote the ACI. The initiative by the ‘Faith in Action’ Group in Bishopstown, Cork, in organising a meeting for Sunday 25th November ‘following on’ from the recent ACP Regional Assembly, was highlighted as an example of the type of initiative which the laity around the country needs to take to promote the new association.

The ACI would like to thank the ACP Leadership Team for their support in scheduling the General Meeting and in particular for arranging the inspiring and very challenging address by Fr.Peter McVerry on Friday night.

8 Responses

  1. Kieran Moylan

    I would like to know about the Statement of objectives agreed at the recent ACI meeting. I would hope to go to the meeting to be held in Bishopstown to promote the ACI and would like to hear details re time and venue in relation to this meeting. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards, Kieran

  2. Margaret Murphy

    I wonder if we could have the talk given by Fr Peter McVerry put on your website.
    I wasn’t able to go this time to the meeting (mainly the cost of traveling to Dublin again so soon after being in Galway) but I have read some of the reports of what he said and would love to get it all.
    He is a man who has inspired me all of my life.
    His genuine commitment to those on the margins is not just admirable but raises questions for us all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ

  3. David Walsh

    The general meeting was very good, a great step forward. I thought there was just one thing missing: a clear direction where to send comments and suggestions, etc. I know I can use this site but it is not entirely suitable and many people may not find it. At least get a new category from ACP.
    I also have Noel McCann’s e-mail address but hesitate to use a private address. Please make the ACI website a priority.

    Also, if we are to have elections in 2013, we will not know who we are voting for, in the (for now) lack of regional meetings and little structure. An open on-line forum would help enormously.

    Congrats and blessings

  4. Martin Hayes

    Arising from the meeting, it is clear that there is much work to be done with regard to strategy and structures for the ACI and this is likely to take some time. However, at this stage I think it would be very useful to have some practical guidance for local groups as to what they could do or what form their meetings could take. It doesn’t have to be a definitive formula – if necessary that can come later but in the meantime I think a few general guidelines would be useful and perhaps the members of the Steering Group would have some ideas they could share. This would help us to get things moving at local level and would ensure that we have some common understanding of the general direction the Association should take.

    Strategy and structure are very important and adequate time should be provided to give them full consideration. But if we wait until everything is neatly in place, we are likely to lose much of the momentum that has been built up – the momentum we experienced in particular at the Assembly in May. So while the organisational matters are being addressed centrally, with just a few guidelines to provide a little coordination, work at local level could progress in parallel.

  5. Máire Mulcahy

    In response to Kieran, the meeting in Bishopstown will be held in the Crypt of the Church of the Holy Spirit, Dennehy’s Cross, Cork, 3 – 5pm on Sunday 25th November.

  6. Eddie Finnegan

    Congratulations to all in the ACI and may this group prosper, in tandem with the ACP. I hope nobody felt the need to haul poor old Gamaliel into service. The poor man should be on overtime.
    Maybe the intervention with holy water by Patrick Boyle of Carrickmacross gives some indication of the tightrope the Clogher ACP have been treading. Well, a drop of holy water never did anyone any harm.
    Glad to see Patsy McGarry included Soline Humbert, Margaret Lee and Paddy Ferry in his Vox pop (Irish Times, Monday 12 November).

  7. Noel McCann

    Thanks to all who submitted comments on Saturday’s meeting for your constructive suggestions.
    Please feel free to use the ACI email address [aci.ireland@yahoo.com] if you don’t want to ‘go public’ on the ACP website. Comments submitted using this email address will be seen only by the Steering Group.
    Martin makes a very good point about the issues and difficulties involved in establishing a viable group in a parish or local area. We will discuss this at our next meeting on Thursday next, the 15th November.
    There is some very positive coverage of Saturday’s meeting in this weeks CI News and I’m told the Irish Catholic will also cover the meeting in the edition due out on Thursday.

  8. Colm Holmes

    3 Proposals for ACI

    My congratulations and thanks to the ACI Steering Committee of 4 ladies and 4 men for all their good work in setting up ACI.

    I would ask the ACI to consider three proposals:

    1. I would strongly support the proposal that ACI be structured primarily as an umbrella group. The ACP should definitely be included as part of this umbrella group. I could see a situation arising where the Vatican takes punitive action against the ACP and its members. In that situation it would greatly benefit the ACP to have the ACI speaking out strongly on their behalf.

    2. I would suggest that the groups included under the ACI’s umbrella should not be limited to lay people. They should include lay, religious and clerics. And the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference would be welcome to join as well.

    3. The ACI should endorse the ACP’s aim to work for an assembly of the RC church in Ireland, perhaps as early as 2015, though much preparatory work will need to be done.