After a three year consultation process, described as “longer than Brexit”, the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union separately voted on Saturday to establish a new national body – Golf Ireland – which will go live in January 2021.
The last two national golfing bodies in the world to govern by gender, the vote was 100% from the ladies and 94% from the men. It isn’t a merger, it’s the establishment of a new body representing 180,000 golfers. The Golfing Union of Ireland is the oldest national golf union in the world, established in 1891, with the ILGU established two years later, they had their 125th anniversary last year.
A joint statement from the chairmen of the two bodies said:
JOINT STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRPERSONS OF THE ILGU AND GUI BOARDS
“We are delighted with the outcome of the votes at our respective meetings, and thank everyone who has given this proposal their support.
“Bringing two strong organisations, the ILGU and GUI together to create a stronger, more influential organisation, Golf Ireland, will not only enhance golf in Ireland but will enhance Irish golf worldwide. The result today indicates that members of both Unions are in support of creating a new organisation which will be built around promoting core principles of equality, diversity, inclusion and excellence.
“The result today is a validation of the work put in by everyone involved. The input which has been received from our member clubs, our staff and volunteers, and everyone else who has in some way contributed to the final proposal should be recognised. The result of their efforts will be a new dynamic organisation, charged with the promotion of the game of golf, with a commitment to excellence and inclusivity.”
Clodagh Hopkins, Chairman of the Board of the Irish Ladies Golf Union
Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Chairman of the Board of the Golfing Union of Ireland