Charities under Fire; Complaints to Sector's Regulator Skyrocket since Console Scandal

Daily Mail (London), October 10, 2016 | Go to article overview

Charities under Fire; Complaints to Sector's Regulator Skyrocket since Console Scandal


Byline: Neil Michael Chief Reporter

On 10 October we carried a report on complaints against charities since June. Due to a production error, the published article wrongly stated that almost six out of ten charities have been the subject of a complaint. In fact, while there has been an increase in the percentage of complaints against charities, the Charities Regulator has confirmed that only 1.6% of charities have had a concern raised about them We are happy to make this clear and to apologise for this mistake.

COMPLAINTS about charities have shot up by almost 40% since the Console scandal in June.

Furthermore, almost six out of ten charities have been the subject of a complaint, new figures - released to the Mail - reveal.

The news comes just over a week after the sector's regulatory authority admitted that more than 40 Section 39 charities, which are partfunded by the HSE, had failed to even engage with it.

Every charity in the country should have been fully registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority by April last.

However, 2,500 of Ireland's estimated 12,500 charities have not registered - despite many warnings over the past two years.

Those that failed to meet the April registration deadline should no longer be operating as charities, and are not allowed to get a permit to collect money in public.

They can no longer apply for the same type of State funding they would have received as a charitable organisation, and they are no longer exempt from paying tax.

The charity regulator, John Farrelly, had been planning to publish the names of charities that fail to engage with the CRA, let alone complete their registration process.

However, that is now not likely to happen until next year. In the meantime, these charities are continuing to raise funds from the unsuspecting public. Last night Jonathan Irwin, founder and chief executive of the Jack & Jill Foundation, said the regulator should 'name and shame' S39 charities and stop being 'namby-pamby' about it.

Mr Irwin, who last June warned that Console was the 'tip of the iceberg', said: 'The latest figures which show complaints are up makes me more convinced than ever that Console is not an isolated case.

'I think Console has focused people's minds and has made people more suspicious of charities, and rightly so. …

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