To all members,
It is with tremendous pride that I can invite all members to the An Óige AGM which will take place on Wednesday 27th of April at 8pm at our Dublin International Youth Hostel.
I have recently been elected as Chairperson of An Óige’s board at an exciting time for the Association. As a young person, I continue to reap the benefit of youth hostelling, which, as an activity, has played a major role in my life. I’m delighted to say that we have now begun our safe descent from the tough financial mountain, which we had to scale over the past few years. In this respect I am pleased to say that we have moved from a situation of annual deficits to one where we are now generating surpluses in excess of those budgeted for. This has been done at some cost to us in that we have had to sell some hostels such as Doorus in County Galway and Traenlaur in County Mayo. Also in keeping with our agreement with the Bank we have to complete a number of other sales such as the hostel in Cork.
We now have a strong basis for recovering the Association. The future is firmly in our hands as we re-kindle the love of nature, adventure and youth hostelling amongst the Irish youth through our ethos of ‘providing safe, affordable and accessible accommodation for all, but especially the young’. Although it has been a challenge to turn around the Association financially, we face a bigger task in re-energising our voluntary ethos and in attracting young members. A start has been made and one of a number of initiatives in 2016 is the offer of free membership to those spending a night at a hostel and the start of a newsletter for members to keep them advised of what is happening in An Óige.
An Óige is 85 years “young’ this year. It will be an opportunity to listen to members’ concerns and to also acknowledge the tremendous dedication and volunteerism of our members, who without them, our existence would not have been possible. So, I look forward to welcoming all new and existing members this coming April and hope to inspire the sense of adventure that is in all of us.
Darragh Miller – Chairperson of An Óige’s Board of Directors