Tánaiste hopes legislative move ends cycle of charity scandals
Frances Fitzgerald says regulating sector an ‘absolute priority’ for Government
A damaging cycle of scandals relating to charities must come to an end, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.
A damaging cycle of scandals relating to charities must come to an end, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said.
Alluding to the controversy involving suicide charity Console, Ms Fitzgerald said there was a time during the summer when issues surrounding charities dominated the news cycle.
She said the full implementation of the Charities Act 2009 would ensure the sector is no longer clouded by controversy.
Ms Fitzgerald was speaking at the launch of the Charities Institute Ireland which has been formed from the merger of Fundraising Ireland and the Irish Charities Taxation Research LTD (ICTR) which represents 180 charities in Ireland.
The institute will deal with issues related to charity taxation, regulation, fundraising standards and overall governance.
Ms Fitzgerald, the Minister for Justice, described the merger as a “brave, practical and thoughtful decision”.
She hoped the CII would work with the Charities Regulatory Authority which she said now has the necessary staff and financial resources required to achieve its goals. An additional €1.7 million was announced in the budget to give the authority the specialist skills to regulate the sector.
Ms Fitzgerald said the regulation of the charities sector was “an absolute priority” for the Government.
“It will reassure the many thousands of people who generously volunteer their time, energy and money to charitable causes that their efforts serve a noble purpose, which is to assist the most vulnerable citizens in our society.”
CII chief executive Lucy Masterson said the purpose of the institute is to restore “trust and confidence” in the causes and charities people in Ireland support.
“That they know that the money that they are giving is going to the cause that they have a deep connection with,” she said.
Alone, the charity that supports older people to age at home, welcomed the creation of the CII.
Its chief executive Seán Moynihan said: “We hope that this initiative will encourage other charities to get serious about quality and transparency in order to restore public trust and confidence in the sector.”