bliain na gaeilge 2018

Constitution

Bunreacht Chonradh na Gaeilge 2018

The Constitution of Conradh na Gaeilge

 This English copy of the Costitution is currently being updated.  The most recent version of this document is available in Irish at cnag.ie/bunreacht.

(a) Name, Aim and Objectives of the Organisation:

  1. Conradh na Gaeilge is the name of the organisation
  2. The aim of the organisation is to revive the Irish language as the common language in Ireland
  3. The objective of the organisation is to encourage people to work on behalf of the aim by, including the following:
    1. increase the amount of Irish language speakers;
    2. increase the number of families raising their children through Irish;
    3. provide support, services and facilities to enable people to live their live through Irish;
    4. increase the status of the Irish language de jure and de facto in Ireland and abroad;
    5. add to the number of organisations, institutes, educational institutes, companies and events that operate through Irish;
    6. stand by the supremacy of the Irish language as the community language in Gaeltacht areas and create new Gaeltacht areas;
    7. lobby on behalf of the Irish language;
    8. represent the Irish language community;
    9. Disseminate the aim and objectives of the organisation with promise and action
  4. The main characteristics of the organisation are: democracy; openness; involvement; equality; inclusivity; dignity; and personal rights.

(b) Members:

  1. A person intending to be a member of Conradh na Gaeilge must:
    1. accept the aim and characteristics of the organisation as laid out in the constitution of Conradh na Gaeilge.
    2. take an active role in the work of the organisation.
    3. be a member of registered branch or an individual member according to this constitution

(c) Primary Rules of the Organisation:

  1. It is the function of every branch, county committee and provincial committee to organise a meeting at least every two months.
  2. Any decision taken at any meeting of the organisation will be by a vote and a simple majority unless any decision is covered differently in the constitution.
  3. The chairperson of every committee in the organisation will have the casting vote.
  4. Every branch, individual member, county committee and provincial committee will register with head-quarters of the organisation annually according to the conditions the Ard-Fheis or the Executive Committee decide on from time to time.
  5. Every committee secretary and individual member, as appropriate, must send contact information for all officers of every branch, individual member, county committee and provincial committee to the head-quarters of the organisation annually.
  6. Every branch, individual member, county committee and provincial committee must act by the conditions that the Executive Committee decide upon from time to time in order for the Executive Committee to accept them as part of the organisation.
  7. The organisation will be administered and managed through Irish. Other languages can be used secondarily to promote the aim of the organisation to other people and organisations that are not members and do not come under the umbrella of the organisation.
  8. Branches and other committees of the organisation are not allowed play a part in any dispute that does not come under the aim and the objectives of the organisation.
  9. All monies and all property that are in the possession of branches or other committees of the organisation are the common property of the organisation, and those monies and property must only be used for the objectives of the organisation.
  10. No branch or committee of the organisation can go in to debt over a sum agreed by the Executive Committee, from time to time, without getting prior consent from the Standing Committee.
  11. All branches and committees of the organisation are responsible for their own liability. In the case of inactive accounts in the name any branch or other committee of the organisation the Standing Committee can close the account and transfer the money in the account to the central account of the organisation.

(d) Branches:

  1. The branch is the primary unit of the organisation.
  2. A branch may be founded if six people came together for that purpose with the approval of the Executive Committee on the advice of the county committee if it exists.
  3. When a branch is founded those establishing it must elect a committee comprising at least four officers (Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer included). The Officers must be able to conduct the business of branch through Irish.
  4. Each branch 's function is to:
    1. promote the Irish language;
    2. to pay an affiliation fee, fixed from time to time by the Executive Committee to the head-office yearly;
    3. collect for the Language Fund be held each year according to the rules of Conradh na Gaeilge;
    4. send two organisational representatives to the Ard-Fheis;
    5. to comply with legitimate instructions of the Executive Committee and allow a representative from the Executive Committee to attend Branch meetings or to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee if asked to;
    6. recruit new members;
    7. to put together a comprehensive language plan based on guidelines from Conradh na Gaeilge.
  5. Every branch must organise an Annual General Meeting of all registered members of the Branch one each year. To that effect a notice of seven days ought be given to all registered members.
  6. It is only members of a branch that are entitled to make voting representation on behalf of that branch.
  7. A member of Conradh na Gaeilge may be a registered member with voting rights in only one brach at any one time.
  8. The Committee of a Brach will elect the Braches’ delegates for the County Committee, if it exists, and for the Ard-Fheis. In an emergency the Committee may give the chairperson this power.
  9. Secretaries of Branches must keep records of members of the branch, with the names and addresses of each member.
  10. The treasurer of a branch must keep a transparent account of the wealth and resources of the branch

(e) County Committees:

  1. A county committee may be established if three branches come together to found that county committee according to the provisions of this constitution and the conditions set by the Executive Committee from time to time.
  2. Each branch in the county will elect two members for the county committee. Each county committee will elect their own officers. Each committee must elect at least have four officers (Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer included). Each county committee can also appoint a Youth Officer, Public Relations Officer and Campaigns Officer.
  3. Each county committee 's function is to:
    1. co-ordinate and support the promotion of the Irish language in the county, especially in conjunction with the branches in the county;
    2. to pay an affiliation fee, fixed from time to time by the Executive Committee to the head-office yearly;
    3. send two organisational representatives to the Ard-Fheis;
    4. elect a representative and a substitute representative to attend meetings of the Executive Committee and to operate as a member of the Executive Committee at those meetings;
    5. to comply with legitimate instructions of the Executive Committee and allow a representative from the Executive Committee to attend Branch meetings or to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee if asked to.
  4. Every county committee must organise an Annual General Meeting each year. To that effect a notice of seven days ought be given to all members.
  5. Each branch in the county can send up to five delegates to the annual general meeting of the county committee. The officers of the county committee will also be delegates.
  6. Only the person chosen by the county committee from amongst its own members can represent on behalf of the county committee.
  7. At least three branches in a specific area can apply to the Executive Committee to recognise that area on the same basis and with the same rights and obligations as a county committee.

(f) Provincial Committees:

  1. A provincial committee may be established if three county committees come together to found that provincial committee according to the provisions of this constitution and the conditions set by the Executive Committee from time to time.
  2. Each county committee in the county will elect two members for the provincial committee. Each provincial committee will elect their own officers. Each committee must elect at least have four officers (Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer included). Each provincial committee can also appoint a Youth Officer, Public Relations Officer and Campaigns Officer.
  3. Each provincial committee 's function is to:
    1. co-ordinate and support the promotion of the Irish language in the province, especially in conjunction with the county committees in the province;
    2. to pay an affiliation fee, fixed from time to time by the Executive Committee to the head-office yearly;
    3. send two organisational representatives to the Ard-Fheis;
    4. elect a representative and a substitute representative to attend meetings of the Executive Committee and to operate as a member of the Executive Committee at those meetings;
    5. to comply with legitimate instructions of the Executive Committee and allow a representative from the Executive Committee to attend Branch meetings or to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee if asked to.
  4. Every provincial committee must organise an Annual General Meeting each year. To that effect a notice of seven days ought be given to all members.
  5. Each branch in the county can send up to five delegates to the annual general meeting of the provincial committee. Each county committee in the county can send up to two delegates to the annual general meeting of the provincial committee. The officers of the provincial committee will also be delegates.
  6. Only the person chosen by the provincial committee from amongst its own members can represent on behalf of the provincial committee.
  7. There will only be one provincial committee in each province.
  8. The provincial committee in Ulster will be called Comhaltas Uladh. Dáil na Mumhan will be the name of the provincial committee in Munster. Dáil Laighean be the name of the provincial committee in Leinster. Dáil Chonnacht be the name of the provincial committee in Connaught. Despite this and with the agreement of the Executive Committee each provincial committee can take a new name for the province.
  9. The county committee in County Louth will be part of the provincial committee in Ulster.

(g) Individual Members:

  1. Individual members can register with the organisation according to the provisions of this constitution and the conditions set by the Executive Committee from time to time.
  2. Each individual member's function is to:
    1. be active in promoting the Irish language;
    2. to pay an affiliation fee, fixed from time to time by the Executive Committee to the head-office yearly;
    3. be a single delegate at the Ard-Fheis;
    4. to comply with legitimate instructions of the Executive Committee.

(h) The Executive Committee:

  1. The Executive Committee will be the supreme body in charge of the organisation from one Ard-Fheis to the next, and there will be no superseding decisions of the Executive Committee in relation to interpretation of the constitution. The Executive Committee shall have jurisdiction on the whole organisation as regards regulations, finance and the wealth of the organisation. Also, the decision of the Executive in all matters relating to the affairs of Conradh na Gaeilge shall be binding on members, on branches, and on all Committees of the organisation.
  2. The membership of the Executive Committee shall comprise of:
    1. the President of the organisation who is elected bt the organisational delegates and the single delegates at the Ard-Fheis;
    2. the Tánaiste of the organisation who is elected by the Executive Committee;
    3. twelve members elected by the organisational delegates at the Ard-Fheis;
    4. two members elected by the individual members at the Ard-Fheis;
    5. three members, at most, that will be co-opted at the first meeting of the Executive Committee after the Ard-Fheis.
  3. The Executive Committee will continue in charge until the first meeting of the new Executive Committee after the annual Ard-Fheis.
  4. Meetings of the National Executive shall be held every second month, at least. The President can organise additional meetings if he/she deems it necessary. The President will organise an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee if he/she receives a letter from 12 members of the Executive Committee requesting such a meeting.
  5. The President will be chairperson at meetings of the Executive Committee. The Tánaiste will act as chairperson of the Executive Committee if the President is absent, and in the case of the Tánaiste also been absent the members will elect an acting chair from amongst themselves for that meeting.
  6. In the case of a member having a conflict of interest with any matter in front of the Executive Committee, that member will leave the meeting for the duration of the discussion on the matter.
  7. The Executive Committee may suspend or disband a member or branch, or any committee should it be proven to them that a member, or a branch, or the committee if it is proven that that member, branch or committee has breached provisions of this constitution, and that member, branch, or committee so suspended or disbanded, and the member, branch, or committee suspended shall not be allowed to re-register until they promise not to breach the constitution again. All action taken according to this provision will be based on natural justice.
  8. The Executive Committee must make sure that an annual audit by a chartered accountant be undertaken on the normal accounts of Conradh na Gaeilge (which will be called the 'An Lárchiste'); but the Executive Committee may order a special audit of those accounts whenever it deems it necessary.
  9. The Executive Committee shall appoint and arrange the salary and working conditions of the Ard-Rúnaí, and the Executive Committee may seek a fidelity bond, as deemed appropriate, from anyone so appointed.
  10. Any member of the Executive Committee who is absent from three consecutive meetings, shall lose their membership of the Executive Committee.
  11. Should a vacancy between Ard-Fheis, take place, on the Executive Committee, apart from membership of the Executive Committee on behalf of the umbrella organisations, the county committees, or the provincial committees, the Executive Committee shall determine the filling of that vacancy but the filling of the vacancy (or vacancies) must be announced on the Agenda of the meeting so proposed.
  12. The Executive Committee is authorised to adjudicate on any dispute or any questions of control, finances, property, aim, objectives or any other business of the organisation or any other matter arising, and to make a decision on the question and/or dispute. That decision will be binding on all members, branches and all committees of the organisation and there will be no superseding the decision of the Executive Committee.

(h) The Standing Committee:

  1. There will be a Standing Committee that will oversee human resources, development, and the financial affairs of the organisation. The Standing Committee will inform the Executive Committee of all decisions taken by the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee shall function as the administrative committee of the organisation between meetings of the Executive Committee.
  2. It is under the authority of the Standing Committee that all cheques will be paid from the Central Fund.
  3. The members of the Standing Committee will be:
    1. the President;
    2. the Tánaiste;
    3. five other members of the Executive Committee elected by the Executive Committee from among their number at the first meeting of the Executive Committee after the annual Ard-Fheis.
  4. Each Standing Committee shall remain in place until the first meeting of the new Standing Committee after the annual Ard-Fheis.
  5. A meeting of the Standing Committee will be held at least every two months. The President may convene additional meetings if he or she thinks that will be necessary. The President will hold an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee if he or she receives a letter signed by five members of the Standing Committee seeking such a meeting.
  6. The President shall be the chairman of Standing Committee meetings. The Tánaiste shall function as chairman of the Standing Committee if the President is absent and where the Tánaiste is also absent, the members present will elect a member from amongst their own (who will not be an employees of the organisation) to act as chairperson for that meeting.
  7. For any matters that involve a conflict of interest for any member of the Standing Committee that member must leave the meeting while the matter is being discussed.
  8. The money of the organisation, as much as is subject to the Executive Committee, will be put in a bank account in the name of "Conradh na Gaeilge" on the recommendation of the Standing Committee, to further the aim and objectives of the organisation and may not be spent on any other business.
  9. Any money of the organisation , that is subject to the Executive Committee, that is not required according to the Executive Committee, can as a one-off, and to further the aim and objectives of the organisation can be spent on dents or it may be properly invested on the recommendation of the Standing Committee.
  10. To achieve the aim and objectives of the organisation, the Standing Committee may, with the leave of the Executive Committee, with whatever interest applies seek an overdraft, term loan, loan account, or other, and provide security in respect of those loans and interest. The organisation will receive such loans in the name of the Trustee.
  11. Payments from the central fund of the organisation can only be made in the context of the agreed work targets and the appropriate costs decided by the Executive Committee and the Standing Committee.
  12. The Standing Committee shall appoint and arrange the salary and working conditions of the employees of the organisation on behalf of the Executive Committee, apart from the Ard-Rúnaí, and the Standing Committee may seek a fidelity bond, as deemed appropriate, from anyone so appointed.

(j) President and Tánaiste:

  1. The President of the organisation is the head of the organisation.
  2. It is according to the Constitution of the organisation and the policy of Conradh na Gaeilge that the President will represent on behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge.
  3. The President shall be elected from amongst the membership of the organisation at the Ard-Fheis for a term from one annual Ard-Fheis until the next annual Ard-Fheis.
  4. The Executive Committee shall elect the Tánaiste from amongst its own membership at the next Executive Committee meeting to be held after the annual Ard-Fheis or in the situation that a vacancy occurs. The Tánaiste will function as vice-president and as president when necessary. If the President cannot carry out his functions the Executive Committee shall be appoint the Tánaiste as President.
  5. The President cannot remain in office longer than three consecutive terms but is eligible again after a term out of office.
  6. The Tánaiste will have specific responsibilities in the organisation with the approval of the President and the Executive Committee.

(j) The Ard-Fheis:

  1. The organisation's Ard-Fheis will be held once a year.
  2. The Executive Committee or the Ard-Fheis itself can call for a special Ard Fheis in special circumstances.
  3. The Ard-Fheis can arrange the date and location two years ahead of the Ard-Fheis in question.
  4. Every branch, county committee, provincial committee and individual member must register at least 10 weeks before the Ard-Fheis to be entitled to attend.
  5. The following will be the organisation delegates at the Ard-Fheis. They must be registered with the head-office subject to this Constitution:
    1. the current President;
    2. the current Tánaiste;
    3. the twelve members of the Executive Committee elected at the organisation's previous annual Ard-Fheis by the organisation delegates;
    4. two organisation delegates on behalf of each branch, each county committee and each committee of a province;
  6. The individual delegates at the Ard-Fheis will include every other branch member, county committee member, provincial committee member and all other individual members.
  7. Every delegate will be allowed to vote on all resolutions.
  8. Motions on the administration of the organisation will require a majority of the delegates in attendance along with a majority of the organisation delegates in favour to pass.
  9. Constitutional amendments will require a two thirds majority of the delegates in attendance along with a two thirds majority of the organisation delegates in favour to pass.
  10. The functions of the Ard-Fheis are:
    1. to consider reports and accounts of the Executive Committee for the previous year to 31 December;
    2. to elect the President by secret ballot of the Ard-Fheis delegates;
    3. elect members of the Executive Committee by secret ballot;
    4. elect an Auditor pursuant to a resolution by the Standing Committee;
    5. fill vacancies in the Trustees under this Constitution;
    6. enact, amend or repeal the organisation's Constitution as necessary;
    7. discuss and decide policies and priorities of the organisation;
    8. act as the Forum for Irish language speakers.
  11. It is by proportional representation (by means of single transferable vote) all elections will be held at the Ard-Fheis.
  12. The Ard-Rúnaí must give at least eight weeks notice to the secretaries of all branches, county committees, provincial committees and all individual members regarding the latest date for the acceptance of nominations and motions for the agenda of the Ard-Fheis to be sent to the head-office (i.e. 5 weeks before the date of the Ard-Fheis) and the appropriate forms must be sent to them at the same time.
  13. All motions and all nominations must be signed by the branch secretary, the secretary of committee, member of the Executive Committee or by the individual members who are proposing the nominations or motions.
  14. Each branch, each county committee, and each provincial committee is entitled to nominate one person (s) to be elected as President of the organisation, recommend twelve for election as members of the Executive Committee, recommend three amendments to the Constitution and recommend three other motions.
  15. Each member of the Executive Committee, not representative on his or her behalf of a county committee or provincial committee, is entitled to propose one person to be elected as a member of the executive committee, one amendment to the Constitution and one motion.
  16. Each individual member is entitled to propose one person to the two spaces available to individual members on the Executive Committee and propose one motion, but not a constitutional amendment.
  17. The head-office will organise a system to enable the branches to decide the order of motions for the Ard-Fheis. The Standing Committee shall complete the final order, taking into account the priority that should be given to resolutions directly related to the organisation and the Irish language. If any branch is dissatisfied with the order they will have an opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee before the Ard Fheis to make their case.
  18. A copy of the agenda, a list of nominations, the Ard-Rúnaí's report and the accounts of the Organization as certified by an auditor, will be sent to all delegates 5 days before the date of the Ard-Fheis.
  19. If a delegate is unable to be present to propose their motion they must notify head-office in advance and he or she must find another delegate to propose the resolution and approve this in writing. Otherwise all motions will fall according to this article.
  20. Amendments to a motion may not be proposed if they changes the spirit of the motion.
  21. Visitors will be allowed to speak on motions, except for procedural motions, administration motions or constitutional amendments, with the permission of the majority of delegates present.

(l) Amending the Constitution:

  1. Any constitutional amendment will come into effect one month after the Ard-Fheis at which it is passed.
  2. The Executive Committee shall be allowed to make changes where necessary to ensure that the Constitution is written according to the official Irish language standard.
  3. The Constitution may not be amended but on alternate years from 2008 onwards.

(m) Trusteeship:

  1. Conradh na Gaeilge shall have, no less than tree and no more than five Trustees, in whom all property and chattels shall be vested and have possession of all monies, investments and chattels paid to them or transferred to the trusteeship from time to time within the powers and according to the conditions as set out here.
  2. The office of a Trustee shall be vacant
    1. should a Trustee resigns his/her office by notifying that in writing to the Ard-Rúnaí of Conradh na Gaeilge;
    2. should all his/her fellow Trustees request a Trustee to retire from office;
    3. should a simple majority of the members with voting powers present at the Ard-Fheis, adopt a motion proposed by the Executive Committee to depose a Trustee or Trustees as named in the motion;
    4. should him/her be appointed to any office being paid from the finances of Conradh na Gaeilge.
  3. A Trustee whose office shall be vacant by him/her removal from office it is deemed that the President of the Organisation shall be appointed from him/her as his/her attorney to do whatever necessary and to execute whatever deeds are necessary to invest the wealth of the Trusteeship in the Trustees continuing in office or in the new Trustees.
  4. It is the Ard-Fheis, on the proposal of the Executive Committee, that is empowered to appoint a new Trustee or new Trustees.
  5. The trustees will operate ownership, management, administration and use of the all the property, whatever type it is, under their ownership or direction or under their control according to the reasonable and legal directions that the Executive Committee will give them from time to time, and without direction, according to the Organisation’s objective as they are given in the Constitution.
  6. On the reasonable and legal direction of the Executive Committee or on the permission of the Executive Committee, the trustees will be able to take ownership through purchase, through exchange, through gift or any other way of any property, or leasable land, or buildings, and on the same kind of direction or permission they will be able to sell, exchange, let or give away any property or leasable land or any buildings that are not suitable or no longer needed for the organisation’s objective.
  7. The trustees will receive, under the reasonable and legal direction of the Executive Committee, and for the achievement of the organisation’s objective, loans with whatever interest applies to the accommodation that the Executive Committee’s bankers give, through overdraft, through term loan, through loan account, or other, and they will authorise whatever guarantee is to be given regarding those loans and interest.
  8. No person shall be eligible to be a Trustee of Conradh na Gaeilge unless they are a member of Conradh na Gaeilge.
  9. The Executive Committee shall indemnify the Trustees and each of them effectively out of the accounts and wealth of Conradh na Gaeilge always and from time to time in any monetary dispute, from damages, or from any demand arising from their being legal owners of the wealth of Conradh na Gaeilge as long as this does not arise from their own negligence or neglect.
  10. The Trustees of the organisation will be the trustees also of Ógras and Oireachtas na Gaeilge and in the said Trustees all property and chattels shall be vested and have possession of all monies, investments and chattels paid to them or transferred to the trusteeship from time to time within the powers and according to the conditions as set out here in connection therewith and sections 101-109 mutatus mutandus.

(n) Organisations under the umbrella of Conradh na Gaeilge:

  1. Oireachtas na Gaeilge, Seachtain na Gaeilge Teo., Ógras, and the Coimisiúin le Rincí Gaelacha ("organisations under the umbrella") come under the umbrella of Conradh na Gaeilge.
  2. The organisations under the umbrella and Conradh na Gaeilge will co-foster each other, provide mutual support to each other and collectively market themselves.
  3. The organisation will have representatives on the organisations under the umbrella of the organisation and the organisations under the umbrella will not change the number of the representatives except by leave of the Executive Committee.
  4. Each organisation under the umbrella of Cornadh na Gaeilge will have one representative on the Executive Committee subject to this Constitution.
  5. The organisations under the umbrella of Conradh na Gaeilge shall be independent with regard to finances and liability.
  6. The Executive Committee can establish and recognise a new organisation under the umbrella of Conradh na Gaeilge.

(n) The National Collection:

  1. The Executive Committee will set up a system or systems to raise money for the Language Fund.
  2. The Executive Committee shall have the sole authority to give permission to make a collection for the Language Fund.
  3. The Ard-Fheis determine the division of the collection for the Language Fund on the recommendation of the Executive Committee.

(n) Other:

  1. A club or an organisation can have joint association of Conradh na Gaeilge if the Executive Committee agreessuch a request subject to the conditions provided for in this Constitution and subject to the conditions determined by the Executive Committee from time to time . The Executive Committee shall fix the fee from time to time for joint associations.
  2. The Irish language version of this Constitution is the authoritative version.
  3. The Constitution of the organisation must be printed and published publicly in Irish. This duty may be met through publishing the Constitution on the organisation's website and having hard copies available at the head-office in booklet format.

The Constitution of Conradh na Gaeilge as amended at the 2012 Ard-Fheis.

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge