Wild Deer Association of Ireland
Secretary report for 2019 / 2021
The past 2.5 years have been a learning curve, being new to this position, I have had a lot to
learn and master along the way, it has been both rewarding and a challenge. With a new
setup team of committee members and officers in place, we have all had to get to know
each other and grow into our roles and develop our strengths as we went along. The first
half of our term in 2019 we accomplished and ran several successful events all of which
were mostly free of charge to members and their families.
However, come March 2020 when the Covid 19 pandemic struck the whole country and
lockdown was introduced, we had to become more inventive in keeping in touch with our
members and with the executive committee. Technology was the key and with the help of
our Facebook page and continuous email flow to members, we could keep the membership
advised of our projects and progression. WhatsApp proved to be a good communication
tool between the committee, since the pandemic put a stop to committee meetings been
held. As the many months rolled on, we then introduced the concept of holding Zoom
meetings, a few trial runs and a couple of hiccups later, several successful meetings took
Since we did not have an AGM last year in 2020, the standing committee remained in place
as caretakers, until an AGM could take place once again in 2021. There has been a number
of outstanding committee members that have stepped up to the mark and gone way
beyond the call of duty in promoting an forwarding the association towards Governmental
and public awareness..
To date we had held 6 executive meetings before lockdown was implemented, one
executive meeting during a break in covid restrictions in August 2020 and 4 zoom meeting
thereafter till the present date. During both terms, great commitment from the elected
representatives was shown. Each term we set ourselves a set of goals and values to be
accomplished in 2019 / 2020 term and also for 2020 / 2021 term, this included to regain
complete ownership and closing down of the old website and PayPal accounts, from our
former Secretary MR DH and making them totally inactive . Develop and design a new
website alongside our IT consultants, establishing and putting in place a new membership
payment systems on both our Face book page and website, this included a new PayPal
account and a Electronic Bank Transfer facility for direct payment to our main bank account.
Developing a voice and presence within Governmental agencies, media outlets in both radio
and broadsheet newspapers. To increase the membership and make the association a more
welcoming group to all. To focus on education and investing in training of our members to
become confident and ethical hunters. To seek best possible partners to promote the sport
of deer stalking alongside our association beliefs. To put in place affordable established
training courses and put in place insurance cover with the correct level of cover for
domestic and oversea activities of our members at the right price, that meets the members
and association needs.
On a governmental and state body’s structural level, the WDAI had campaigned hard via a
series of zoom meetings with NPWS for our members and the general sporting person
regarding this year Deer Hunting Licence Permit. In which we had a major input into the
structure and rewarded with a successful outcome of having the licences been processed
and issued in a far superior turnaround time. On top of this success a similar group of
meetings had also taken place with Coillte, regarding a rebate and exploring the option of
extending the lease from the previous year for all stakeholders that did not have the chance
to hunt and use deer lettings the last year. Coillte finally agreed to an extension for the
forthcoming season, with no further additional costs to its client’s base for the season of
2021 / 2022.
A series of further meetings had been held between WDAI and all the major farming bodies
, private landowners and Forestry companies to engage in dialogue and break new ground
with our association regarding the future managing of our national deer herds, these
meetings are still ongoing and a very proactive team are making steady gains with these
Some of our headline projects over the past 12 months have been the Abbyleix / Durrow
road awareness campaign, highlighting the number of incidents between motor vehicles
and deer. This campaign was to both protect the motorist and to highlight animal welfare. A
major undertaking was taken onboard, that saw major surveys and observations of deer
movements at various stages of the day. Local politicians, An Garda Siochana, Laois County
councillors and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, had all been canvassed and worked with
through out this project. With a very good result for our association with placement of
humane deer dispatchers on the ground, electronic signage been put in a permanent
placement for early warnings to motorists and deer proofing fences been installed at major
blackspot sites. The result to date is that accident figures have been reduced through these
A humanitarian and charitable side to the association was encouraged to be a permanent
fixture per year, in our first term a donation of 1000 euro worth of PPE face masks was
made to St Luke’s Nursing Home in Cork for frontline workers during the pandemic, donated
on behalf of the WDAI and its members. Our second term saw us take this up a level, and
with our partner Lamh Failte a homeless charity based in Dublin, we had decided to get
involve and put in place a barbecue each week for a number of weeks serving venison
burgers to the homeless and others seeking a meal.
This has proved to be a huge success and the association have agreed to do more barbecues
come these winter months and will also continue to supply 250 / 300 burgers each week for
the volunteers to cook and serve themselves. We asked our members to donate at least one
deer during the coming season to keep the supply ongoing. A Go Fund me campaign had
also been established and currently been promoted to help raise funds to purchase a van for
the charity so it can further grow its collections and deliveries service.
Our media presence continues to grow in both media platforms of radio and newsprint. To
date we have appeared in several local newspapers throughout the country, major papers
like the Independent , The Herald, Agri land and others have published our works
highlighting our charitable works and also printed our views on the national herd and
management of deer. Our radio interviews with local radio stations throughout the country
continue and Radio one, The Joe Duffy live line show interview had gone down very well and
increased and enhanced our presence in all media circles. As for our social media presence ,
we continue to see our Facebook page surge in growth in popularity and is further enhanced
by our new educational / training programmes now been shown on our new platform
WDAI TV available on our website for viewing, a top class film production with a no
nonsense approach to educate fellow sportspeople on a wide range of topics.
The WDAI is represented by members on such panels as The Firearms Consultative Panel,
Deer Alliance, various Deer Management Groups, FACE Ireland etc. Of which our input,
suggestions and values are always put forward to benefit the welfare and management of
our national deer herds and that of stalkers / hunters.
On a personal level, I would like to thank all those that have travelled from many different
parts of the country this evening. To the hard working committee, i say thank you for your
effort, commitment and attendances of the monthly meetings at Kilcoran Lodge Hotel
before Covid kicked off and also to those that have continued to give full commitment to
the association during a very uncertain period of time in everyone lives. All this work is
totally voluntary and done only for the better of the association. I would ask newly elected
officers and committee members to take the role seriously and consider the commitment
required, what is required is a core of hard-working individuals to further grow the
association and its values.
Events held throughout our terms are as follows.
Current and activate membership stands at 356 ordinary members and 20 life members.
Note, as a gesture of good will during the Covid 19 pandemic the committee decided to
extend the membership from July 2020 to July 2021 free to all paid up members.
In closing, this committee has proven the past few years on how adaptable we have become
under changing circumstances and the ability to cope with changes at the very last minute.
With the success achieved to date and the lessons we’ve learned along the way; I am
confident that the remainder of 2021, and forthcoming year of 2022 will be much better
and more enjoyable for all.
Chairman of the Wild Deer Association of Ireland.
Dear members as you know by now our AGM has been cancelled along with the many other events that we had planned our annual rut walk in Killarney on October 10th has met the same faith. We had a very successful year in 2019 with a lot of events from Dog tracking,
carcass handling, butchery, a free day of testing and shooting the latest equipment from Blaser and other leading manufacturers, our annual shoot with the usual free barbecue I want to give a special thanks to our events coordinator David Dunne who organised
most of these events I want to thank all the committee for their work on your behalf with a special mention also for our secretary Barry Redmond who is on top of everything . as you are all well aware the issuing of Deer hunting licenses has been a disaster this
year the present system is not fit for purpose we have been in contact with the relevant ministers office to discuss a review of the licensing system before this meeting takes place we want input from our members so we can represent your needs sum of the proposals
we have already are a 3 year license, online applications and cull return’s, a break in the tie between land and license, all sensible ideas are welcome remember the Facebook page ( Wild Deer Ireland) has nothing to do with us to contact us on Facebook use
wild Deer Association of Ireland or our website www.wdai.ie Our 2020 membership is free for anyone that was payed up in 2019 we have a free draw for for members for Red Deer stalking in Scotland, Fallow in Ireland and lots more check website for details membership
is 20 euro get in before the draw. We will be launching our anti poaching campaign shortly again input for this is appreciated. That’s all for me for now I hope you all stay safe and healthy.