CONSTITUTION FOR THE DUBLIN SOUTH ARCH CLUB (Friendship club for people with Special Needs)


1.1. The club shall be known as the Dublin South Arch Club (the “Club”).


2.1. Members of the Club shall be comprised of the following:-

(a) Junior Section

(b) Intermediate Section

(c) Senior Section

(d) Adult Section

(e) The members of all four sections listed above are referred to as “participating members” in this document.

(f) The parents, guardians, carers and other adult relatives of the members with special needs are deemed to be members of the club and are referred to in this constitution as “managing members”.

2.2. Siblings of Participating Members shall be deemed to be Associate Members of the Club and may, at the invitation of the section leaders (as appropriate), be entitled to participate in Club activities.

2.3. Applications for membership of the Club shall be made in writing to the Committee and are subject to the approval of the committee having regard to the circumstances that pertain in the club at the time of application.

2.4. The Committee shall be entitled to operate a waiting list for membership.

2.5. All Members with Downs Syndrome are required as a condition of membership to have medical clearance in respect of Atlanto-Axial Instability

2.6. There shall be a subscription fee payable annually. The subscription shall be reviewed each year at the AGM. Only one subscription fee shall be payable by Members in the same family.

2.7. In situations of conflict or dispute involving members, resolution in a discreet and supportive context will be the norm. The committee reserves the right to intervene for the benefit of all to assist the parties to resolve the issue in dispute and as a last resort to adjudicate on the matter for the best outcome for all.


3.1. To promote and encourage friendship and a sense of belonging among the members.

3.2. To provide recreational and social facilities for Participating Members in a safe and secure environment.

3.3. To advance personal development of Participating Members through greater leisure opportunities, by promoting personal choice and independence and encouraging their full participation, integration and involvement in the club and community.

3.4. To raise awareness of special needs in the community.

3.5. To provide training and developmental opportunities for Managing Members through support nights, courses and related activities.

3.6. To provide information on related issues to Managing Members where possible.

3.7. To liaise with other groups involved in the area of special needs where similar interests exist.


4.1. The aims of the Club shall be primarily achieved by the holding of events and activities in a suitable location or outings.

4.2. Events and activities will be organised based on the ages and capabilities of the Participating Members.

4.3. All activities and outing that are carried out in the club should have adequate supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of the members.

4.4. All Managing Members attending events or activities of the Club shall comply with Children First, The Department of children and Youth affairs guidelines. All committee members shall be garda vetted.


5.1. The activities of the Club are dependent on the co-ordinators who are also members of the committee and their responsibilities are guided and governed by the steering committee.


6.1. There shall be one Committee for the Club which shall be elected each year at the annual general meeting (the AGM) and which shall comprise only of Managing Members. The Committee shall be comprised of the Chair, the Secretary, the Treasurer together with the co-ordinators for the four sections of the club and other managing members as deemed appropriate by the committee provided however that the total membership of the Committee shall not be less than 6.

6.2. The Committee shall elect the Officers from among its number at the first meeting of the Committee following the AGM

6.3. The Committee shall appoint co-ordinators from among its members for each section.

6.4. It will discuss and agree policy and procedures for the running of the sections which each co-ordinator will adhere to.

6.5. There shall be a designated child protection officer whose name and contact details shall be made known by the posting of a notice in a prominent place in the hall where the activities take place and on the club website.

6.6. No Officer shall hold the same office for more than 3 consecutive terms, save in circumstances where no member of the Committee has indicated a willingness to assume such office and the Committee has been unable to fill the vacancy in accordance with Clause 6.11.

6.7. The Committee shall have the authority to invite Managing Members or other persons participate in their work, if this is thought desirable. However, such Managing Members or other persons may not hold office or be entitled to vote.

6.8. The Committee shall be required to meet on at least 4 occasions in each year and the quorum for meetings of the Committee shall be 1 person from each section and at least one officer.

6.9. If a Committee member misses three consecutive meetings without apologies, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee or his/her Office if the Committee member is an Officer.

6.10. The Committee shall be entitled to fill any Officer or co-ordinator vacancy from among its members, by election if necessary.

6.11. The Committee shall have all powers necessary for the full and efficient conduct of the operation of the Club (save as otherwise provided by this Constitution) and may do all acts or things in fulfilment of the aims of the Club.


7.1. The Committee shall adopt, and keep up to date, a code of behaviour for the operation of the Club.

7.2. The code shall be based on the following principals

(a) Each participating member is expected to behave in club activities and outings in a manner that does not interfere to the detriment of the enjoyment or experience of the other members of the club.

(b) The code will seek to support members who are having difficulties in interacting with other members in a social manner.

(c) Procedures should be clear and fairly applied for the good of all.

(d) There will be openness and transparency in the code.

(e) Encouragement will be given to solve issues to the satisfaction of all at an individual level between the member, his/her parents/guardians and the co-ordinator of the section concerned.

(f) When necessary the committee shall have authority to adjudicate on situations.


8.1. The club shall hold an AGM each year in the month of January or as soon possible thereafter.

8.2. The business of the AGM shall be as follows:

a. Approval of minutes of previous AGM

b. Chairperson’s report

c. Secretary’s report

d. Treasurer’s report

e. Approval of accounts

f. Child Protection’s Officer’s report

g. Junior section co-ordinator’s report

h. Intermediate section co-ordinator’s report

i. Senior section co-ordinator’s report

j. Adult section co-ordinator’s report

k. Election of steering committee for the forthcoming year

l. A.O.B.

8.3. At least two weeks’ notice of the AGM must be given to all managing members who are entitled to attend and vote at all AGMs and extraordinary general meetings of the club.

8.4. An EGM may be called by giving three weeks’ notice to all managing members by the steering committee or by five managing members of the club.


9.1. The club shall be affiliated to the National Federation of Arch Clubs and whatever other association deemed appropriate.


10.1. The club shall raise funds by whatever legal means are decided by the elected committee and such funds shall be used to benefit the participating members.

10.2. The committee shall maintain proper records of account and shall report on the financial position of the club at the AGM

10.3. A bank account or accounts shall be held in a local branch and the signatures of any two of three members of the committee (one of whom must be the treasurer) will be required at all times on cheques and withdrawal slips from current and deposit accounts.

10.4. At no times shall a current account be overdrawn if funds in a deposit account are not sufficient to cover such overdraft.

10.5. All expenditure in excess of €500 shall be subject to the approval of any two officers and shall be ratified at the next following meeting of the committee.


11.1. The club may only be dissolved by resolution passed by a 75% majority of those managing members present and voting at a properly convened AGM or EGM of the club

11.2. Upon the dissolution of the club, any assets that remain after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities shall be paid to the National Federation of Arch Clubs.


12.1 Changes to the constitution may be made at an AGM or an EGM subject to the following:

(1) The secretary shall furnish to each managing member (in accordance with the notice requirements for an AGM or an EGM) notice of the time and place of such meeting and of the changes to the constitution, which it is proposed to be discussed; and

(2) For a change to be passed at an EGM a majority of 75% shall be required.

(3) A majority of over 50% shall be required at an AGM to effect a change in the constitution.
Certified as a true copy as adopted at the Annual General Meeting of the Club held on ……………….


Note : The young people and the parents/guardians are regarded as being members of the club.
The term “managing members” refers to the parents/guardians of the young people.
“Participating members” refers to the young people who are participating in the club activities.