Goal resignation: Full statements from Barry Andrews and Anne O’Leary

Chief executive steps down as aid agency reels from investigation into Syria operation

Barry Andrews, a former Fianna Fáil minister, took the helm at Goal in 2013. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Barry Andrews, a former Fianna Fáil minister, took the helm at Goal in 2013. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


Barry Andrews has resigned as chief executive of Goal as the aid agency reels from a US investigation into its multimillion-euro Syria operation, The Irish Times has learned.

Full statement from Barry Andrews, CEO of GOAL

I have served as CEO of GOAL for 4 years, during which time GOAL has completed a number of highly effective humanitarian responses. Our long term work has evolved significantly and I have enjoyed working with highly motivated colleagues.

The circumstances of the OIG investigation over the last 7 months has been extremely uncomfortable for GOAL and we are working hard on correcting the weaknesses identified and providing all necessary assurances to our donors.

I do not for one moment resent the robust oversight of our donor partners and if we are serious about retaining public trust and managing large sums of taxpayers’ money, then this type of oversight is not only to be expected but to be welcomed.

GOAL applies exacting standards to the management of its programmes and in my leadership role over the last few years I have endeavoured to apply those standards.

However, it has become clear to me that GOAL requires a fresh start in terms of leadership. To that end, I informed GOAL’s Board of Directors last August of my intention to step down as CEO as soon as a suitable replacement could be identified.

I have agreed to continue as interim CEO and I am delighted to note that a new appointment will be announced in the next few days starting next month. I will continue, in the meantime, to lead the Senior Management Team working closely with the Board and to provide the necessary assurances to our donors that will allow GOAL to continue providing life-saving services to its 12 million beneficiaries.

Statement by Anne O’Leary, Chairperson of GOAL

The Chairperson of GOAL, Anne O’Leary, thanked Mr Andrews for his dedication and commitment to GOAL over the past four years.

“Barry was appointed as CEO of GOAL during a turbulent time in the organisation’s history. Not only was he largely responsible for helping stabilise the organisation following his appointment; he also led GOAL during a period of strong growth.

“The number of people GOAL have been able to reach has increased in his time from approximately four million people across 13 countries at the end of 2012, to 12 million people across 19 countries by the end of 2015.”

“Most of the growth in relief services was driven by the ongoing conflict in war-torn Syria and by the response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, two crises in which GOAL played a significant humanitarian and advocacy role.

“I want to thank Barry for the outstanding leadership he has provided to GOAL during his tenure over the last four years. He has also been an outstanding spokesperson for GOAL on the national and international stage and in particular has been a courageous advocate on behalf of the people of Syria.”