Club Constitution

The name of the Society shall be “Blackwater Photographic Society”

The purpose of the Society is to share and promote photography amongst its members in an informal and welcoming environment. To encourage, assist and facilitate members who wish to apply for and achieve internationally recognised distinctions and / or merits. Compete nationally both as a society and as individual members.


The Membership of the Society shall consist of its founding members and such other persons as the General Committee may in its absolute discretion admit to membership. New members are required to fill out a membership application form. Each application shall be considered by the General Committee and the applicant will be informed of the decision of the General Committee by the Secretary. The determination of the General Committee shall be final and conclusive and the committee shall not be required to give any reason for rejecting any such application.

The Membership of the Society will be strictly limited at a figure decided by The General Committee.
Membership fees shall be fixed by the committee at the AGM and shall be payable on application for membership or by current members at the AGM. Membership shall lapse where the Annual Subscription remain unpaid after 30th of September.

New members joining after January 1st shall pay a half yearly fee covering the term up to the last society meeting of the society calendar or May 31st in the same year, which ever date occurs first.

The management of the Society and Society funds shall be vested in the Committee consisting of:
The Chairperson
Public Relations Officer/ Webmaster/ Social media
Competition Secretary
Assistant officer
Three Other Society Members

The Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

In the event of a contest for an office, the election of the office shall be by secret ballot.
To be elected a member must receive more than 50% of the valid votes cast by those attending the meeting. Proxy voting is not allowed. Officers so elected shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.

Any member of The Blackwater Photographic Society may not serve more than 3 consecutive years in any one position on the main committee with the exception of the Treasurer who may not serve more than 5 consecutive years.
Any member having served 3 consecutive years in one position or 5 consecutive years in the position of Treasurer will not be eligible for re-election for 2 years.

If any vacancy shall occur during the year, the Committee may in its absolute discretion, appoint any member to fill the vacant position who shall then remain in office until the next Annual General Meeting. For the avoidance of doubt, the Committee shall have full power to act, notwithstanding that any such vacancy shall not have been filled.

Any officers of the society shall on his or her retirement from office hand over to the incoming Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer of the society, all documentation, pin numbers, log in or password details appertaining to his or her office.

The General Committee shall have the power to enforce the general society rules included in this document. No member shall be absolved from such general rules by reason of his or her not having read same, or any alteration made therein or having otherwise no notice of them.

A meeting of the General Committee shall be called by the Secretary at the discretion of the Chairperson or at the request of not less than five members of the Committee.

All issues arising at any committee meeting shall be decided by a majority of those present and voting at such a meeting. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.

All proceedings of the Committee shall be entered by the Secretary or his/her deputy in the Minute Book.
At all meetings of the General Committee, five members shall form a quorum.

Where matters arise that require interpretation not covered in this constitution then the committee shall have the power to act in the best interest of the society and if necessary call an EGM to clarify any issues.

Decisions of and discussions within the committee (Whether formal or informal) shall at all times be confidential and privileged except where such decisions have to be communicated to an individual member or members by a committee member who is authorised to do so. Any other correspondence by the committee must be carried out through the secretary of the society.

Any breach of rules reported to any member of the Committee shall be investigated by the General Committee and if upheld may lead to a suspension or expulsion from the society of the member committing such breach. Any sanction shall be at the absolute discretion of the Committee and shall require a majority of two thirds of the members of the General Committee present and voting at the meeting. Where a member has received two suspensions from the Society any further breach of the rules triggering a further suspension may incur immediate expulsion from the Society. All complaints must be in writing and signed by complainant.

The General Committee shall have the power to remove a member of the Committee for “conduct unbecoming of a member “. Such removal / dismissal shall require a two thirds majority.

The General Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees from any society members as may from time to time be deemed necessary. The General Committee shall determine the tenure and terms of reference and procedures of any such committees.

An annual general meeting of the society shall be convened by the general Committee on not less than fourteen clear day’s notice to all paid-up members of the Society. The business of the annual general meeting shall include the Chairperson’s address, the Treasurers presentation of accounts, competitions secretarys address and the election of officers for the coming year. No member shall be elected to office or the committee during his/her absence.

The Chairperson shall have a deliberative as well as a casting vote, provided he has cast his deliberative vote. This is applicable only to general committee meetings.

The Chairperson will preside over meetings, delegate tasks, serve as the society liaison, and perform other duties essential to the society.

Subject to any directions which may from time to time be given by the Committee, it shall be the duty of the Secretary;
To conduct all correspondence of the society.
To attend all Committee and annual general meetings and to keep minutes of such meetings in a book or books to be kept for that purpose.
To give fourteen clear days notice of the Annual General Meeting or EGM and seven clear days notice of all Committee meetings. In the case of emergency, a meeting of the General Committee may be called by the Secretary on three clear days notice to all members of the General Committee

The Treasurer shall receive and pay all monies due on account of the Society and his/her account thereof, shall be made available to the Annual General Meeting of the members of the Society.
The Treasurer shall keep an up to date record of the names and addresses of all members of the Society and records of all the Society’s monies and transactions.
All withdrawals from the credit union must be done by two of the three authorised members, to be decided by the committee. The three authorised members should include the treasurer. The financial year of the Society shall be from the AGM to following AGM.
An auditor may be appointed at the Annual General Meeting.

Competition’s Secretary.
The Competition’s Secretary shall be responsible for collecting entries for all society and inter-society competitions, arranging for these to undergo selection by the Selection Committee, presenting the entries to the judge or competition organiser, reporting the competition result to the Committee and/or the society and retrieving the entries.

All nominations of external judges to preside over society competitions shall be approved by the General Committee.

Public Relations Officer/ webmaster/ social media
The role of a public relations officer is to promote the activities, convey the policies and interests of the society to the public through various forms of media. It will also be the duty of the P.R.O to maintain update and monitor the society website, facebook and instagram pages or any other media sites / pages belonging to the society.

Assistant officer.
The assistant officer shall cover any position of a society officer should they be unavailable on a temporary basis.

The selection Committee.
The Selection Committee is responsible for the selection of members work to be entered into any external competitions or exhibitions entered by the Society.

The Selection Committee consists of Competition’s Secretary and five elected members who can also be members of the general Committee. Selection Committee members are elected at the AGM.

A selection committee meeting cannot take place unless there is at least five members present. If five of the selection Committee are not available for a selection committee meeting the Competition’s Secretary can invite any paid up society member or members, to take a position on the selection committee for that meeting.

When selecting images for national and international competitions all selection committee members shall have an initial vote for shortlisting images followed a numerical vote to form the basis of a panel.

Blackwater Photographic Society will adhere to the rules set down by the Irish Photographic Federation. All images in internal competitions as well as images representing the society in external competitions must comply with IPF rules. The competition’s secretary may at his or her discretion to relax some rules for internal competitions.

Images entered in any internal society competitions by members agree that his or her competition entries shall be available for selection by the Selection committee for use to represent the society in any competition that society may need images for. Members wishing not to have certain images included for panel selections should inform the competition’s secretary at the time of entry or before panel selections take place.

All prints and digital images remain the property of the photographer and the society claims no rights other than the ability to display the prints and images at society meetings including Blackwater Photographic society exhibitions and functions including Inter-Society events and on the Blackwater Photographic Society website / social Media sites or publications.

All equipment or other assets of a permanent nature which the society own or may purchase or acquire in the future are deemed to be Society property. Such equipment and or assets may be placed in the temporary care and custody of Individual members who will be responsible to the society Committee for its safe-keeping.
Members to whom Society property is entrusted for safe-keeping are not permitted to use such equipment for any commercial purpose, or from loaning it to any third party, whether he/she be a member of the Society or not, for any period whatsoever. However such equipment may be hired to individual members in accordance with rule below for their personal use.
Any member to whom Society property is given for safe-keeping will be required to return it forthwith to The Society, if requested to do so by any committee member acting on the instructions of The Society Committee.
The committee member entrusted with storing equipment will maintain a register of society equipment in their care, together with details of the members to whom it is hired or loaned out to.
The duration, terms and conditions governing such hire, and the arrangements’ for their effective management and administration will be as determined by The Society Committee from time to time. Such equipment will, at all times, remain the property of the Society.

Paid Workshops, lectures or outings may be organized by the committee for the benefit of its members. When any workshop or society activity is arranged or organized and a shortfall occurs in funding the event due to late cancellations or other issues it will be at the discretion of the committee on whether to cancel the event or make up the shortfall in funding the event from society funds.
The committee can also choose to charge a non-refundable deposit for such events should it decide to do so beforehand.

Blackwater Photographic Society members are advised to always be polite, respectful and constructive in their postings on the society’s social media sites. Common sense on the part of the member will in most instances ensure that only appropriate posts are uploaded to social media sites.
Members should avoid being critical of anyone – particularly competition judges, Selection officials, Society officials and members of Blackwater Photographic Society or other societys. Instead, members should consider offering constructive suggestions for improvement directly, yet politely and respectfully, to the individual(s) involved.
Improper or inappropriate use of social media by a Member could make them liable to disciplinary action including dismissal from the Society.
Social Media applies to any website or application that enables sharing of content or information, or supports social interactions.
This includes, but isn’t limited to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, Society Website and this includes any other online technologies that allow individual users to upload and share content.

An EGM shall be held within twenty-one days at the request of not less than two thirds of the members or at any time at the discretion of the Society Committee. The notice for such meeting shall not be less than seven clear days.

Alterations or additions to these rules shall be subject to approval at an AGM or EGM of a resolution carried by not less than seventy five percent of the members attending and voting and any such meeting. Members shall be given not less than fourteen clear days notice of the meeting and the resolution(s) to be considered at the meeting.

The committee shall wind-up and dissolve the Society in the event of a seventy five percent majority decision at an AGM or EGM or the number of members falling below six. In the event of the society being dissolved all society equipment should be sold at auction with first preference given to current paid up members. Where there is sufficient funds remaining members may be given either a full or partial refund on membership paid for the remaining term in the society calendar. All remaining funds should be donated to Mallow Meals on Wheels or any other local charities. 

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