On Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th, delegates from Bahá’i communities all over Ireland gathered at the Double Tree Hotel (formerly the Burlington) in Dublin to take part in the Annual National Baha’i Convention.
On the first day of the Convention the delegates elected a new national governing body. Conducted by secret ballot in a prayerful atmosphere with no nominations or electioneering, the election is the central focus of the annual National Convention.
The Bahá’í Faith doesn’t have a clergy, instead the affairs of the community are managed by an an annually elected administrative body. Sarah Sabour-Pickett, the outgoing Secretary of the National Assembly explained how the system works, “Delegates are elected by the local Bahá’ís all around the country at Unit Conventions each year and then these delegates come to National Convention where they elect a new National Spiritual Assembly for the year.”
In April 2014, the delegates gathered in Dublin elected a diverse group to serve as members of the new National Spiritual Assembly. The new members hail from all over the country, range in age from early-twenties to early sixties and come from all walks of life.
The members of the National Spiritual Assembly elected by the delegates in 2014 are, Sheena Odongo, Stephen Murphy, Pat Murphy,Alison Wortley, Ardawan Lalui, Mathew Kennedy, Brendan McNamara, Breda Nagle and Sarah Sabour-Pickett.