Saturday, August 14, 2010

Morale at crisis ridden Irish Red Cross at all time low

Recent weeks have proven very difficult for the Irish Red Cross. The national media has reported extensively on the organisation's deep rooted problems and very serious incidents such as the 'undeclared' bank account held in Tipperary for over three years which contained much needed funds for victims of the Asian tsunami has caused shame, embarrassment and possibly irreparable damage to the reputation of the Society. The Sunday Times article on 1st August 2010 (page 8) was a damning indictment of what has happened at the Irish Red Cross over the last twenty years.

Readers should be aware that this recent surge in negative media coverage and calls for independent investigations are not a new phenomenon to afflict the organisation. The national media carried similar reports in the mid eighties, throughout the nineties and on a regular basis during the first decade of the twentieth century. 2009 saw detailed reporting in the Village magazine (Nov-Dec 09 edition and Dec 09-Jan 10 edition) which exposed the extent of the crisis as well as articles in the Sunday Independent, Examiner and Phoenix magazine. The Sunday Independent carried another damning article in February 2010. The pattern is clear for all to see and given that these problems have existed and deepened over a twenty year period no one can claim with any degree of credibility that serious issues do not exist or that it is only one or two people who perpetuate these reports. Multiple generations of Irish Red Cross volunteers, board members and staff have fought the ruling elite of the organisation and sought reform and change. It can be stated with absolute certainty that current and future generations of Irish Red Cross volunteers, board members and staff will continue with determination to break, what at times seems rock solid, the obsessive power base of the handful of individuals who comprise the Irish Red Cross ruling elite.

From what this Blog understands it would appear the leadership vacuum continues at the Irish Red Cross head office with the Head of the International Department still suspended and the Acting Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, Declan O'Sullivan, remains overseas on holidays.

It is interesting to witness that while the last eight months have seen the Irish Red Cross enter free fall because of a blind fixation with eliminating those calling for reform the strategy has backfired spectacularly. It can only be assumed that those at the top of the Irish Red Cross have had their reputations, through their own actions, severely damaged both internally and externally and their individual credibility must now be under serious question. While it will unlikely happen immediately the 'whispering in the corridors of the Irish Red Cross' is these people will not retain their current positions long term.

Perseverance and determination amongst reform minded volunteers, staff and board members is required now more than ever before. While every ruling elite appears invincible even through their dying days when they can be at their most dangerous all ruling elites fall, always. Irish Red Cross reformists should, of course, be aware of, but never fear or shirk from, the sting of a dying wasp.


Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before-Jacob A. Riis

Perseverance...keeps honour bright: to have done, is to hang quite out of fashion, like a rusty nail in monumental mockery-William Shakespeare

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:07 AM

    The crisis at the Irish Red Cross will continue as long as the "Executive" is run by dinosaurs who should have been replaced years ago. How is an organisation to grow if the same people have been running it for decades? Your blog is a long overdue breath of fresh air which tells the public how it is.

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