Kieran Rose | Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie | r
The Irish Republic’s gay rights’ group GLEN allowed charitable funds to be used to support its founder’s political campaign. Another €51,174 went on credit card bills including personal expenditure and cash withdrawals and was not properly accounted for. The Charities Regulator found funds were used to support the an unsuccessful Seanad (Senate) campaign by co-founder Kieran Rose, which he ran from the charity’s office. He used GLEN’s office space, and its printing and photocopying services, and has since repaid the cost.
€51,174 of company credit card spending was not adequately supported by itemised receipts or invoices.
The inspectors found an organisational culture within GLEN where charity trustees, who included Simon Nugent the former chief executive of the Private Hospitals Association and Seamus Dooley the current general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, appeared to place relatively high levels of trust in staff members without adequate checks and balances being in place to provide necessary oversight of all financial transactions and financial reporting.
The weaknesses in the charity’s financial reporting processes meant the board were unable to detect and mitigate the significant risks identified in this report in order to consistently safeguard the charity’s assets and funds and ensure that they were used to further the charitable purpose of the charity.
“There are key lessons for all Irish registered charities in ensuring there are financial controls in place and full disclosure by management to charity trustees so they can manage their organisation,” Charities Regulator Chief Executive John Farrelly said.