North Cork sports supporters will have an opportunity to learn about the benefits of becoming a member of Cork City FC, when the fan-owned Trust behind the runaway League of Ireland leaders comes to Fermoy for a special roadshow event next week. FORAS – the Friends of the Rebel Army Society – will host the first in a series of roadshows next Wednesday, August 30th in the Fermoy Community Youth Centre from 7pm to 9pm.

The roadshow organisers say they are hopeful that they will have some special guests in Fermoy on the night, which will be confirmed online closer to the event. Cork City is 100% owned by its supporters, who sign up for membership of FORAS for just €10 a month. Members can then vote for, and be elected to, the Cork City Board of Management and also have a vote on motions that come before the Trust’s AGM – giving the fans a direct say in the running of their football club.

Membership also brings with it a host of benefits such as first refusal on tickets for high-profile games, discounts on club merchandise, a share certificate and a membership card. Members are also given automatic entry to the Trust’s monthly draw – a raffle that is exclusive to FORAS trustees and has prizes including tickets to Ireland internationals on offer. 

FORAS vice-chairperson MIke Derham, who will be one of a number of members of the board present at the roadshow on Wednesday, said he hopes football fans from North Cork will come along and see the benefits of a FORAS membership for themselves.

“Everyone is welcome to come along and talk to the board of management, along with some special guests. Whether you're a Cork City supporter or not, you will be given a warm reception when you join us on the night. At the roadshow you will be able to speak informally to the board of management, and view some of the silverware that has found its way to the club this season, along with mementos, and jerseys from recent times. 

“The roadshow hopes to spread the word of what FORAS is about, what we stand for, why you need to join us, plus of course give some feedback and answer questions about what goes on behind the scenes at Cork City FC,” Mike explained. Those attending the roadshow will have the opportunity to have informal chats with members of the board about different aspects of the Trusts work – both with the club and the wider community.

Chairperson Pat Lyons will be on hand to chat about the current infrastructure and the Trust's hopes for the future, while Mike Derham can discuss SD Europe and the Irish Supporters Network – associations that has seen FORAS link-up with other supporter-owned clubs such as German side Shalke and FC United of Manchester. Secretary Darren O’Keeffe will explain the FORAS trust to newcomers, and what it is doing to grow membership. 

The Trust formed in 2008 – a tumultuous time in the club’s history – but brought it through examinership and the First Division to the top of the Premier League. Wyon Stansfeld (treasurer), can discuss some aspects of Cork City’s financial stability and the principles of how the club budgets from season to season. 

John F Kennedy will give an insight into the Trust’s work with the community; Derek Lynch will answer general questions about FORAS and Shane O'Connor can give an informal insight into the importance of getting the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted when contracts are signed.

“The club is experiencing a very successful time of late; FORAS saved the club when it was needed back in 2010. Going forward it is vital that people join for us, understand The FORAS ethos, and are willing to help push the club on to the next level,” Mike added. “We hope to see as many of those who can make it in Fermoy on Wednesday night, but those who can’t need only visit or email for information.”