Article 1: Name
- The name shall be:- "THE IRISH FEDERATION of ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETIES" (IFAS)
Article 2: Aim
- The aim of the Federation shall be to promote the interests and development of amateur astronomical societies in Ireland.
Article 3: Membership
- Membership shall be open to amateur astronomical societies in the island of Ireland which are governed by a democratically elected council or committee, subject to the approval of the Council. For the purposes of the Federation, Societies includes Clubs and Associations.
- Applications for membership shall be submitted in writing, giving the details which may be requested, to the Council of the Federation for approval.
Article 4: Council of the Federation
- The Federation shall be governed by a Council, to be elected at each AGM, which shall comprise the offices of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. The remaining society representatives shall be ordinary Council members.
- The Chairperson shall not hold office for more than three consecutive years.
- The Council may at its discretion appoint Council or Ordinary members to other posts, such as Publicity Officer, Editor, Observing Co-ordinator, etc., but only Council members may vote at Council meetings.
- The chairperson and secretary shall be representatives of different societies.
Article 5: Election of Council
- The Council shall consist of up to two nominated representatives from each society, who shall elect the officers from within their own number.
- Candidates for election shall be present when their application is considered except as may be agreed otherwise by those present at the AGM.
- Nominations may be received up to the start of the Annual General Meeting.
- Representatives must be authorised to speak and vote on behalf of their society. Where a person is a member of more than one society, s/he must indicate which society (s)he is authorised to represent at each meeting.
- The officers shall take their posts after their election and remain in post until the next Annual General Meeting or earlier resignation.
Article 6: Powers of the Council
- The Council shall have the power to transact all business relating to the management and direction of the Federation and in particular to:
- Appoint committees for special purposes with such powers as may be necessary.
- Fill any vacancies among Officers of the Federation during the year, such appointments being valid for the remainder of the year only.
- Increase its numbers by co-opting members proposed at a council meeting for a specific related function as deemed necessary in the interest of the Federation. Co-opted members shall have no power to vote at any Council meeting.
- Administrate within the Federation on any point not covered in this Constitution.
Article 7: Voting
- At all meetings voting will be by simple majority vote, except in the case of an alteration to the constitution (see section 12.01). In the event of a tie, the Presiding Officer at the meeting will have an extra casting vote, except in the case of elections, where a tie shall be resolved by lot.
- The meeting may decide whether to vote by show of hands or by secret ballot, except that voting at elections shall be by secret ballot.
- If a society is unable to send its full complement of representatives to an Annual or Extra-Ordinary Meeting, proxy vote(s) up to the maximum number will be allowed, provided that such votes are duly authorised in writing by the Council (or equivalent) of that society before the vote.
Article 8: Meetings of the Council
- The Council shall normally hold a meeting at least once in a calendar year.
- At a Council Meeting the quorum shall be five, at least two of whom shall be Officers of the Federation, with a minimum representation of four member clubs.
Article 9: Finances
- Each Member Society shall pay to the Federation an annual subscription which shall fall due on 1 August. Subscription will be a flat rate, to be determined by the Council at each AGM, in the currency of the member Society. The initial subscription shall be ten pounds.
- The first annual subscription shall become due upon acceptance by the Council of an Astronomical Society as a Member of the Federation and shall be paid within eight weeks of receipt by the Society of written notice of acceptance.
- A Member Society failing to pay annual subscription by the date of the following AGM shall have their membership of the Federation terminated.
- The Federation's accounting year shall commence on 1st August and end on the following 31st July.
- The funds of the Federation shall be managed by the Treasurer who shall produce the accounts at the Annual General Meeting.
- The Treasurer will produce the Federation's Accounts at each Council Meeting. If unable to attend such Council Meeting, an up to date statement of the Federation's Current and Deposit Accounts will be provided to the President and Secretary with further copies for Council Members at the meeting.
- The income and property of the Federation whencesoever derived shall be used solely for the benefit of the Federation as set out in the Constitution.
- No member of the Federation shall enter into any contract on behalf of the Federation without the prior consent of the Council.
Article 10: Annual General Meeting
- Each Annual General Meeting of the Federation shall be held at a date and location decided by the committee.
- Notice of the Annual General Meeting and the Agenda shall be sent to all Member Societies at least four weeks before the date of the meeting.
- The Annual General Meeting shall receive the reports of the Council on the year's activities and the accounts, and shall settle the annual subscription for the coming year.
Article 11: Extra-Ordinary General Meeting
- An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Federation may be convened by the Council, or at the written petition of 50% or more of the representatives of the total paid up Astronomical Societies of the Federation to the Secretary.
- Notice of an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting shall be sent to all Member Societies within three weeks of the receipt of such a request, giving at least four weeks notice of the Meeting.
- The notice shall state the business petitioned and only such business shall be discussed at the Meeting.
- The quorum at such a meeting shall be at least 50% of the total number of representatives of paid up Member Societies.
Article 12: Alteration to the Constitution
- This Constitution shall only be changed by a two thirds majority vote at an Annual or Extra-Ordinary General Meeting.
- Written notice of proposed changes shall be sent to all Member Societies at least four weeks before the date of such meeting giving such details and the reasons for the proposed changes.
Article 13: Winding Up of the Federation
- Should the Federation be wound up for any reason the complete assets of the Federation shall be distributed equally among the paid up member societies of the Federation.
Michael Murphy, IFAS Secretary,25th April 2022