The Peter McVerry Trust

Corporate governance

Sir, – Your article “Peter McVerry Trust repaying €8.3 million in taxes after availing of Covid-era scheme” (News, September 28th) noted in passing that the charity accommodates 2,000 people each night (commendable), while having a recently reported annual income of €53 million. That is €26,500 per person per annum or approximately €2,200 per person per month. Its 2021 annual report also indicates a core staff count of 506, which amounts to about four people accommodated per core staff member. I leave it up to the reader to take from this what they will. – Yours, etc,


An Clochán,

Tír Chonaill.


Sir, – In your piece about governance concerns at the Peter McVerry Trust, you state that Fr Peter McVerry “remains the secretary of its board . . . but is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the trust”. The secretary of any company has a range of duties under Irish company law, which the Corporate Enforcement Authority summarises as overseeing “the company’s day-to-day administration and to ensure specifically that the company complies with the law and observes its own regulations”.

On assuming the position, the secretary makes a declaration acknowledging that “as secretary, I have legal duties and obligations imposed by the Companies Act, other statutes and at common law”, and all boards have a duty to ensure that their secretary has the skills necessary to allow them to do the job and to maintain proper records. These requirements apply to for-profit and not-for-profit entities equally, including the Peter McVerry Trust, which is established as a company limited by guarantee.

In 2021, the Peter McVerry Trust received €38 million of taxpayers’ money, almost double the amount of the proposed State bailout of RTÉ. In view of this, and of the day-to-day obligations imposed by law, it is troubling – if not outright surreal – to be told that the secretary of that organisation has no day-to-day involvement in its operations. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.