Finlay appointed to board of Charities Regulatory Authority

Shatter announces 16 appointments to new authority with powers under Charities Act

Barnardos chief executive and former Labour Party adviser Fergus Finlay is among the appointments made by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to the board of the new Charities Regulatory Authority.

Mr Shatter announced plans to establish the new authority last year, and earlier this year announced Úna Ní Dhubhghaill, a former official in the Department of Justice as its first chief executive.

The authority will be formally established later this year, and becomes operational in the aftermath of numerous scandals and controversies in the charities sector.

Mr Shatter last night announced 16 appointments to the authority’s board, a move he described as “an important step forward for the new system of charities regulation we are putting in place”.

The new chairman is Conor Woods, an accountant and senior statutory auditor, as well as chairman of the Chartered Accountants of Ireland charity committee.

Other members
The other members are Graham Richard, a charity commissioner and consultant at Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors; Ann Fitzgerald, a barrister and director of the Cork Simon Community; Patricia Cronin, solicitor and vice-chairwoman of Transparency International Ireland; David Brady, an accountant and adviser to the charity sector; Patrick Hopkins; an accountant and board member of St Vincent de Paul; Anna Classon, head of fundraising for the RNLI; Mr Finlay; Cynthia Clampett, chief executive of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation; Tom Costello, programme executive with the Atlantic Philanthropies; Senan Turnbull, chairman of the Think Ahead advisory committee, Irish Hospice Foundation; Barbara O'Connell co-founder and chief executive of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, as well as a board member of the Disability Federation of Ireland and European Brain Injury Society; Hugh Maddock from the Rehabilitation Institute and Rehab Group; Sandra Chambers, a tax specialist with expertise in the establishment and funding of charities; Katie Cadden, a solicitor and former legal adviser to the Private Residential Tenancies Board; and Noel Wardick, former head of the international department at the Irish Red Cross.

The chairman will also be invited to a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence to discuss proposals for the authority.

Mr Shatter said the authority would be independent and would have “powers under the Charities Act to introduce robust yet proportionate measures to improve the accountability and transparency of our charity sector.

“This is essential to the restoration and maintenance of public trust and confidence in our charities, whose work across many sectors makes such a crucial and highly valued contribution to our economy and society.”