At county level, Gun Clubs are organised by the Regional Game Councils (County Bodies). The Regional Game Councils assist Gun Clubs in the promotion of conservation projects and also in organising various events at county level. They also liaise with other non-Governmental organisations (NGO’s) such as farming bodies and other wildlife organisations.
At national level, the Regional Game Councils are united to form the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC). The NARGC acts as a national lobby organisation looking after the interests of resident sportsmen and sportswomen through assisting in the development and implementation of national wildlife policy, legislation, research, education, habitat purchase and development, financing, game release programmes etc.
The Association is governed by a Constitution which reflects the principles of democracy. Every member has voting rights. It depends solely on its members for its financial well being and receives no subventions from Government or from any other source. The NARGC constituent Gun Clubs are Recognised Bodies under the Wildlife Act 1976 and along with the NARGC and its Regional Game Councils, they will continue to be Recognised Bodies under the new Wildlife Amendment Bill which completed its passage through the Dáil (Irish Parliament) in the year 2000. This in effect means that each Gun Club may take prosecutions in its own right for breaches of the Wildlife Act.
This is a recognition unique to the NARGC. The Association is also a Seanad (Upper House of Irish Parliament) Nominating Body and is included in the Agricultural Panel on the Register of Seanad Nominating Bodies. Its inclusion on the Seanad Register is recognition of the importance and wide representation of the Association. The NARGC’s expertise in wildlife matters has been recognised by successive Governments in the past and this was clearly demonstrated by the Association being represented by several of its members on past Wildlife Advisory Councils, the Heritage Council, the Firearms Legislation Review Group and the SAC Appeals Advisory Board.