Goal timeline: From small beginnings to Ireland’s largest aid agency
Organisation, under fire over Syrian operation, began in 1977 after a £10,000 donation
September 2015: Barry Andrews, who has resigned as as Goal chief executive (front right); Paul Neeson of Dublin Airport Authority; and David Fitzsimons, chief executive of Retail Excellence Ireland, at a press conference urging people to donate to help Syrian refugees. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.
March 2013: Students from Blackrock College and Willow Park attempt to set a Guinness World Record by forming a giant shamrock as part of a Goal St Patrick’s Day badge campaign. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.
October 2010: Residents of the Terraine Du Pont Camp in Haiti where Goal’s was running a hygiene programme following an earthquake in the country. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.
October 2009: Sharon Commins, a former Goal aid worker who was kidnapped while working in Sudan, meets then president Mary McAleese and Micheál Martin, the then minister for foreign affairs, following her release. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.
April 2007: The then Green Party TD Paul Gogarty (right) and former Meath Gaelic footballer Graham Geraghty taking part in a five-a-side football match in aid of Goal in Ringsend, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.
September 1996: Goal founder John O’Shea with distance runner Sonia O’Sullivan at the launch of the Sprint for Goal campaign which aimed to raise funds for street children in Asia and Africa. Photograph: Jack McManus.
1977 – Goal is founded by John O’Shea using a IR£10,000 donation. The money funds a feeding project in Calcutta, India.
1979 – Goal is one of the first charities to enter Cambodia in the wake of the genocide. It also begins work in Uganda, responding to famine.
1986 – The charity has moved into Ethiopia at the height of the famine. Income for the charity is not available but outlay figures on its website, show it spent more than €1.3 million on humanitarian projects
1992 – O’Shea leaves journalism to concentrate full-time on the charity.
1993 – Outlay figures on its website, show it spent more than €11 million on humanitarian projects
1996 – Goal moves from being a trust to operating as a company.
1997 – The Department of Foreign Affairs suspends funding to the charity in July, after an investigation by the EU fraud unit identified possible irregularities in the agency’s accounts. The charity’s accounts show it had a total income of almost €3.8 million. Funding is resumed the following year.
2000 – Accounts show an income of almost €22 million.
2005 – Niall O’Dowd of the Irish Voice newspaper and Declan Kelly, a New York-based public relations consultant, both members of the US board of the charity, resign in protest after comments by O’Shea. He had criticised government plans to donate €1 million to the relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The charity’s total income in this year was €83.2 million.
2009 – Goal aid worker Sharon Commins and her Ugandan colleague Hilda Kawuki are kidnapped in Darfur. They are released unharmed three months later and suggestions that a ransom of €150,000 was paid are denied.
2012 – Goal goes into Syria following the outbreak of the civil war. Its total income for the year is €60.5 million. In August, O’Shea resigns as chief executive, following a High Court case, in which he tried to prevent the board from removing him. Barry Andrews, former Fianna Fáil minister for children, is appointed head of the organisation.
2014 – Accounts show an income of €126.9 million and Syria has become the charity’s largest operation.
2015 – Accounts show the charity had an income of €210 million, making it comfortably the biggest Irish aid agency.
2016 – In April, it emerges the US is investigating alleged fraud involving the Irish aid agency’s operation in Syria. The investigation centres on alleged bribery and bid-rigging, relating to the buying of items for distribution in the war-torn country. In late June, the Department of Foreign Affairs holds back almost €3 million in funding, pending clarity on the US investigation. Andrews tells the board he will resign in August.
2016 – October – News of Andrews’ resignation becomes public.