Report critical of Red Cross


The Irish Red Cross struggled to cope with the huge level of donations it received in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami and "serious administrative failures" lead to delays in the dispersing of funds , a report published today has found.

The report, which was carried out on behalf of the charity, showed that while there was no misappropriation or mis-allocation of fund there were problems connected to the management of some of the money collected in its tsunami Appeal in 2005.

The tsunami devastated much of south east Asia and killed over 230,000 people

The report says that charity did not have sufficient staff or management controls in place to deal with the huge response to the appeal, in which it collected over €32 million.

The most serious issue addressed in the report was the delay by the Tipperary branch of the society in forwarding €162,960 to the society’s headquarters, although it does stress that the branch did not attempt to hide or retain any money collected.

The chairman of the Irish Red Cross David O’Callaghan said today's report showed "serious deficiencies in our accounting procedures.”

He said that after he had been appointed as chairman in September 2010 he had put “improved governance of the Society’s affairs at the top of my agenda. We have already implemented procedures to avoid a recurrence of these events. We are also well advanced in strengthening new financial procedures.”

Mr O'Callaghan said that “every cent” donated for areas affected by the tsunami “has been and will go to relief projects in these areas.”

The report was carried out by accountant Angela Coen, the chief executive of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People Liam O’Dwyer and planning consultant Michael Halligan.