Members and friends of the QIA, Cead Mile Failte
As you are aware, the Queensland Irish Association Friendly Society Ltd (the QIA) was placed into liquidation on 11 May 2015 and David Clout of David Clout and Associates was appointed as the liquidator.
The role of the Liquidator includes the realisation of the assets of QIA; the primary asset being the QIA premises, Tara House, at 175 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane. The Liquidator has commenced a campaign for the sale or realisation of the premises.
The Liquidator is, as part of the sales campaign, seeking to provide for an outcome that may best preserve the heritage, activities and business of the QIA.
To assist in achieving those goals, the Liquidator has approached a number of individuals to form a steering committee. This letter has been prepared by the steering committee and sent to you as a (former) member of the QIA.
Steering Committee and sub-committees
The members of Steering Committee (and sub-committees) are all volunteers and are made up of a number of existing members, others who have a strong attachment to the QIA and some who were invited due to their particular expertise in certain areas. The Steering Committee is an informal body and has no powers or obligations – the powers of the former QIA board are effectively suspended.
Various informal sub-committees have also been formed, each run by a member of the Steering Committee and as at the present time those sub-committees are:
– Property development – Maurice Wren;
– Hospitality management – Billy Fitzgerald;
– Membership – Angela Laylee;
– Governance – David O’Farrell; and
– Finance – Kevin Higgins.
I am currently leading the membership sub-committee and as such am hoping to be able to continue dialogue with the members of the QIA so that we can best represent all members’ interests in moving forward with the QIA after the liquidation process has been finalised.
Sale process and re-establishment of the QIA
The outcome of the sale process and what that means for the QIA is presently uncertain. The present view is that the much preferred outcome is that the QIA continue to operate from Tara House, involving all the clubs previously associated with the QIA, and providing the same level of hospitality that has made the QIA and Tara House famous for the last 100 years. However, we must be realistic and open-minded to other potential outcomes, which may not include the use of Tara House.
The re-establishment of the QIA will be a long term project and will involve considerable time and resources. All those involved are motivated to put together a good quality proposal with the best outcome for the QIA, but there needs to be a realistic and sensible understanding about can be achieved. The primary asset of the QIA is its interest in Tara House (which is subject to a significant mortgage) and the QIA may have limited financial capacity.
A rough outline of the likely phases to be followed is:
Phase One: consider and prepare a proposal to position the club to influence the outcome of the current sales process in particular and utilising the historical aspects of both the QIA and Tara House itself;
Phase Two: negotiate, with the assistance of the Liquidator, with the prospective purchaser of a development which will facilitate the QIA objectives;
Phase Three: documentation of the various arrangements including arrangements with the purchaser;
Phase Four: planning and preparation for any development, including any discussions with regulators and re-establishing the QIA post termination of the winding up;
Phase Five: implementation, including the completion of any of the development works; and
Phase Six: re-commencement of trading operations.
Phase One: QIA Positioning Statement
Time is short for involvement in the sales process. The sub-committees must prepare a positioning statement within the next 3-4 week period.
One of the tasks of the membership committee is to articulate the objectives and mission statement of the QIA for its future operations. This will assist in positioning the sub-committees to contribute to the sales process.
Please note that membership of the QIA is also effectively suspended, however we consider all former members, and, any other parties interested in furthering the objects of the QIA, as being the effective “members” and we wish to keep communication with you open and transparent.
In that regard, we wish to hear from all interested persons to indicate what the QIA means to you and what you see as its objectives. Please feel free to forward this to other people who may be interested in the QIA and its future and please ask them to contact us to be added to the mailing list.
I emphasize that all of the committee members, including myself, are volunteers and do have other commitments outside of what we are hoping to do with the QIA, so we ask for your patience in dealing with your correspondence and we hope you will all be as excited and optimistic as we are to re-establish the QIA in a way that is going to ensure its future survival.
We will keep you informed of any significant advancements and look forward to hearing your suggestions in the meantime.