Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Irish Red Cross Donegal Area Committee meeting abandoned amidst scenes of argument and confusion


See below taken from the Fine Gael election manifesto, page 32, launched 15th February 2011

‎"7.5 Red Cross

Red Cross: Fine Gael supports the initiation of a detailed legal review of the basis, structures and governance of the Red Cross in Ireland to improve its functioning in the light of changing circumstances."

Both Fine Gael and Labour have clearly identifed that the Irish Red Cross has serious and damaging governance problems. Their election manifestos will form the basis of their programs when in Government. The fact that they both deem it necessary to include reform of the Irish Red Cross in their future vision of a changed Ireland speaks volumes on the seriousness with which they view the current situation. It is also an indictment on the Society's failure and incapability to manage its own affairs in a transparent, competent and professional manner.



The following breaking news is unrelated to the main article below but is a very significant development and one of major importance for the Irish Red Cross so the Blog feels it important its readers are informed:

"Labour will reform the governance
structures of the Irish Red Cross to
enable it to discharge its duties more
effectively and transparently"

Taken from the Labour Party Election manifesto, P87, launched today, 11th February 2011. The Labour Party manifesto is a statement of what it intends to do if in Government. Based on current opinion polls it is very likely that Labour will be in Government within four weeks.



The Irish Red Cross Donegal Area Committee meeting scheduled to take place on Friday 4th February 2011 was abandoned soon after it started following a row and a subsequent walkout by a number of members. The walkout left the meeting without a quorum and as a result there was no option but to cancel it. The trigger for the row was the attendance at the meeting by Mr. Gerard Moyne, a lifelong and loyal member of the Irish Red Cross for the last 37 years. Mr. Moyne was asked to leave the meeting as soon as it was opened and following his ejection a number of other members left the meeting in protest at the decision, thereby forcing the meeting’s abandonment. Mr. Moyne, from and living in Donegal, has previously served on the Irish Red Cross Donegal Area Committee as well as on the national Overseas Working Group. Mr. Moyne is also a trained instructor in International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Historically Area Committee meetings are attended by officers of the various branches that make up an Irish Red Cross Area. It has also been common practice in Donegal and possibly other areas around the country that general branch members can also attend an Area Committee meeting if they are involved in Area business or for other purposes deemed relevant. It is understood and accepted by all that only branch officers, however, have voting rights at Area Committee meetings.

To understand the context of what happened in Donegal on Friday 4th February it is important to share some background information with readers.

A number of months back Mr. Moyne made contact with Bernadette Rutherford, Irish Red Cross Donegal Area Chairperson, to express, through appropriate channels, his serious concerns around matters relating to the governance of the Irish Red Cross at national level as well as the highly questionable use of money raised for overseas appeals to pay for domestic expenses. These were matters of the utmost seriousness but despite this Ms. Rutherford made no follow up contact with Mr. Moyne. It is not known if Ms. Rutherford, as would be her duty as Area Committee Chairperson, followed up Mr. Moyne’s concerns with the Irish Red Cross head office in Dublin or via the Donegal Area Central Council representative, Mr. Raymond Mackey. Mr. Moyne also wrote directly to Mr. Mackey many months ago but to date he has received no reply. Mr. Moyne contacted the Irish Red Cross Regional Office in Mayo, again no response. On numerous occasions Mr. Moyne has written to the Irish Red Cross Chairman, David J. O’ Callaghan. To-date Mr. O’ Callaghan has not responded nor acknowledged any of Mr. Moyne’s correspondence. The silence has been deafening. Serious governance problems remain.

As an Irish Red Cross member in Donegal Mr. Moyne was aware that there was an Area Committee meeting scheduled for sometime in December 2010. Mr. Moyne emailed and subsequently spoke on the phone with the Donegal Area Committee Secretary and asked when the Area Committee meeting was scheduled for as he planned to attend. Mr. Moyne was kindly given the date, time and venue by the Area Secretary. Due to inclement weather the December meeting was postponed and a new date of 4th February 2011 was set. In January 2011 Mr. Moyne was again in touch with the Area Secretary enquiring about the exact arrangements for the Area Committee meeting explaining he planned to attend. The Area Secretary informed Mr. Moyne of the date, time and location. At no stage did the Area Secretary inform Mr. Moyne that he could not attend the meeting.

On the 4th February 2011, on a dark, wet and very windy Friday evening, Mr. Moyne travelled the twenty miles from his home to attend the Donegal Area Committee meeting. Mr. Moyne entered the meeting room and sat down. Brief pleasantries were exchanged with some others present. The Chairperson of the Area Committee, Ms. Rutherford, was also in the room. Ms. Rutherford did not engage with Mr. Moyne in any shape or form. The meeting did not commence for a further twenty minutes as Ms. Rutherford and some of her colleagues were finalising matters related to the Area finances which were to be presented to the meeting.

Twenty minutes after Mr. Moyne entered the room Ms. Rutherford, as Chairperson, formally opened the meeting and welcomed all in attendance. Immediately upon opening the meeting the Chairperson addressed Mr. Moyne directly and publicly. She stated that only Irish Red Cross branch officers and not general Irish Red Cross members could attend an Area Committee meeting. If a general member wishes to attend an Area Committee meeting they must first write in advance to their Branch Secretary and obtain permission to do so, the Chairperson informed the meeting. As Mr. Moyne had not done this he was not entitled to attend and the Chairperson requested he leave immediately. Mr. Moyne, the Chairperson stated, should have written to the Fahan Branch, something he had failed to do. Despite being totally taken aback by this sudden and unexpected development Mr. Moyne asked for a copy of the rules which specifically outline such procedures. The Chairperson was unable to produce a copy. Mr. Moyne then explained that custom in Donegal had always been that general members could attend such meetings but that they had no voting rights. He was not aware this had changed and again he asked for a copy of the rules. No copy of the rules materialised. One of the officers from Fahan Branch in attendance concurred with Mr. Moyne’s interpretation of the rules. At this point the representative from the Muff Branch interjected to state ‘that we cannot have every Tom, Dick and Harry attending these meetings’. Mr. Moyne pointed out to the meeting that he was an Irish Red Cross life member for 37 years, a former Chair of the Donegal Area Committee and a former member of the national Irish Red Cross Overseas Working Group and as such he didn’t feel he constituted ‘every Tom, Dick and Harry’.

The Chairperson insisted Mr. Moyne leave the meeting and rather than further delay proceedings Mr. Moyne agreed to depart. Before doing so Mr. Moyne asked the Area Secretary to confirm to the meeting that she had on two occasions confirmed the time, dates and venue of the meeting directly to him and at no stage did she advise him that he could not attend. The Area Secretary confirmed to the meeting that this was correct.

Upon his departure from the meeting Mr. Moyne drove the twenty miles back home. Later that evening Mr. Moyne was informed that following his ejection the three members from the Fahan Branch who were in attendance walked out of the meeting. Including Mr. Moyne, this Blog understands that the departure of four people from the meeting left six remaining, a figure below the necessary quorum for a meeting to proceed. The meeting was therefore abandoned.

The manner in which Mr. Moyne was treated by the Donegal Area of the Irish Red Cross is a disgrace and brings further shame and humiliation to the organisation. The Fahan Branch members who walked out are to be commended for their actions and for their refusal to accept such behaviour. It is people like these who hold the keys to the future of the Irish Red Cross.

The reality of what happened in Donegal on the 4th February 2011 is that Mr. Moyne was left sitting in a meeting room for over twenty minutes while the Chairperson of the Area waited to publicly reprimand him and eject him from the meeting once it was started. The Chairperson did not have the courtesy or decency to even ask Mr. Moyne his reasons for attendance and if he wished to address the meeting briefly before his departure. Questions must be asked. Why did the Chairperson not quietly approach Mr. Moyne before the meeting commenced and explain her reasons in a polite and mannerly way? Why did she consciously wait until the meeting had commenced before insisting Mr. Moyne leave? Why, given that Mr. Moyne had driven twenty miles on a wintry night, was he not afforded even ten minutes prior to the Area Committee meeting officially commencing, to express his views and then depart? Why are Mr. Moyne’s legitimate concerns being ignored by the elected representatives of the Donegal Irish Red Cross? What is it they so deeply fear? Why did the Area Secretary not inform Mr. Moyne that he could not attend the meeting rather than giving him the time, date and venue on two separate occasions? When exactly did Ms. Rutherford decide she intended to eject Mr. Moyne? Was pressure brought to bear on Ms. Rutherford to make such a decision and to implement it in a deplorable, callous and unacceptable manner? If so by who exactly? This person or persons must be held accountable and removed from the Irish Red Cross. The fact, however, that the decision to eject from a meeting a highly committed and dedicated life member of the Irish Red Cross has so spectacularly and embarrassingly backfired is an indication that there is at least a glimmer of hope and that there are Irish Red Cross members out there who will not tolerate the insidious Irish Red Cross culture of intimidation, bullying, harassment and deceit.

The constant attempts by the ruling elite and their gullible footsoldiers to silence dissent, prevent criticism, ignore calls for reform and conceal the truth will never succeed.


  1. Anonymous8:01 AM

    To the best of my knowledge, any member may attend an area meeting but only as observers. It is also true that members other than elected delegates must request permission to attend in writting from the area committee if they wish to participate in the meeting, the only exception to this is where the Branch inform the Area in writting of their decision to substitute one of their delegates with another member.

    PS I'm not a member of the Donegal Area.

  2. Anonymous11:19 AM

    This is not the first occaision that members have been asked to leave an area meeting. Just look at the Galway area and its last meeting held in 2010.

    Following the outcome andactions of this particular meeting the entire area committee had to be disbanded.

    please research same and do a blog article on it asap.

  3. Isn't understanding a great thing we all have an understanding, but when it comes to the Humanitarian work of the Red Cross and keeping with the Principles our understanding fades into the insignificance of rules which do not exist.

    Being a representatitive on the Central Council Area, Branch allocates you not a single hair of more importance than any other member of the Red Cross. If you beleive otherwise then you are in breach of the Principles. Even if you join the Red Cross this week you have the same rights as I having been a member for 37 years.

    The poster above speaks of requesting permission in writing what a load of bollocks ! So we now allienate by virtue of literacy those who are unable to write and receive these God given permissions to be allowed to bow before our piers. The poster speaks of exceptions, well I will telll you of an exception the removing money from Appeals is an exception, sacking Noel Wardick illegally is an exception, sacking Louis White was an exception. Sure I could go on for reams ! There are no exceptions when it comes to the Humanitarian work carrried out beneath the flag of the Red Cross. Too many have given of themselves and their lives to protect the integrity of the Red cross for anyone to tell me that I must beg in writing to be allowed to utter words to those that have proven themselves to be DEAF!

  4. Anonymous6:28 AM

    What a shambles!
    I in no way claim to be any expert on the rules and regulations relating the Irish Red Cross Area Committee Meetings. I fully understand the need for such rules and regulations, isn't that what the voices of dissent are calling for, CONSISTENTLY APPLIED rules and regulations which in turn form the basis of good corporate governance. The key point being CONSISTENTLY APPLIED rules. Does the Donegal Area Chairperson seriously believe that this disgraceful treatment of a long serving Irish Red Cross Member will not be seen for what it is: a vindicative and bullying tactic employed simply because Mr. Moyne has been brave enough to question those who have been strangling the Irish Red Cross for too long.
    I have no doubt Ms. Rutherford can produce a rule book from a dusty shelf somewhere to demonstrate that the presence of Mr. Moyne contravened the letter of the Irish Red Cross law. There is no point arguing that issue. The key issue here, as highlighted above, is the manner in which Mr. Moyne was treated which was nothing short of contemptible.
    This country is about to rid itself of an established power base who saw themselves as above reproach and accountibility. Three years ago the government and their cohorts in the banks envisaged no end in sight to their greedy grip on this country. The grip which destroyed this country. Very slowly but very surely their grip on this country is being thrown off.
    It seems to me the Irish Red Cross is following a similar path,just a few stages behind.
    Voices of dissent turned into action in Cork, it appears similar actions were taken in Galway, now I am delighted to hear Members of the Fahan Branch have taken action.
    Well done to those Members who walked out, you stood up for decency and repect of fellow Members. Yours actions may seem isolated but be assured that the fact that you walked out speaks volumes and clearly demonstrates that the Irish Red Cross and its humanitarian principles is alive and well in Ireland. It is a very small few who believe these principles do not apply to the Irish Red Cross.

  5. If the commentor above wants the blogger to write an article about the serious Irish Red Cross dispute in Galway he should make contact with him and give him the informaton he needs. I am sure so long as it is genuine he would consider doing an article. The situation in the Galway Area has been referred to a number of times in comments on the blog. Noel Wardick has posted his email address on the comments section before so I am sure he wont mind me posting it here again. Its noelwardick@yahoo.com If we are going to expose the truth about the Irish Red Cross then sharing information is the only way to keep the Irish Red Cross under pressure and to force them to reform and change their horrid ways.

  6. Anonymous3:07 PM

    "Mr. Moyne also wrote directly to Mr. Mackey many months ago but to date he has received no reply."

    Are you referring to the letter Mr. Moyne sent to all Central Council members in advance of the last central council meeting (of which I received a copy). If this is the case, this letter was "informational" in it's nature - providing Mr. Moyne's views on past actions and points that, in his opinion, should be raised at meetings. If this is the letter referred to, I honestly do not see what response would have been possible or practical.

    Of course, it may be the case that he wrote separately to Mr. Mackey....

  7. Anonymous3:12 PM

    "Being a representatitive on the Central Council Area, Branch allocates you not a single hair of more importance than any other member of the Red Cross. If you beleive otherwise then you are in breach of the Principles. Even if you join the Red Cross this week you have the same rights as I having been a member for 37 years."

    Indeed - and I agree with you. However, these people have also been elected by their fellow members to perform a specific role and function for a set period of time. This does not afford them any more rights - nor should it. However, it does impose on them certain duties and responsibilities which they then have to discharge to the best of their abilities within the structures they are given. I do not envy them in this as you will never please everyone all of the time !

  8. Anonymous3:26 PM

    It's almost a year since I posted my first comment on this Blog. It was an extract from one of my favorite poems which seemed to suit the tone of the blog posting....and there was some light hearted banter about "Poetry raising the tone of the responses".

    Those were the good old days !!!

    I think this particular posting has lowered the tone of the overall blog somewhat.

    In the past, when an individual was referred to, their title was used, not their individual name.

    However, this post seems to have adopted a somewhat nastier tone, with the attack being directed in a very open, personal manner. This is disturbing when the person at whom this vitriol is being directed has no formal right of response, other than posting a comment - a comment which would be, at best, a foot note and at worst would open up further comments and attacks.

    I enjoy reading this blog, even if I do not fully agree with everything that is discussed.

    So, blogger or bloggers, please reclaim the high ground you occupied with such grace in the past and abandon this dark valley of personal attack.

    It doesn't serve your higher purpose.

  9. Anonymous4:51 PM

    some people live in a very sad wee world now we are lead to believe that the principles of the Red Cross are for sad cowardly blogers and not the dedicated honest hard working members.

  10. Anonymous3:20 AM

    The above article is not in any way intended to be a personal attack but rather a statement of factual events as they occured. These events again provide evidence of the unacceptable behaviour of the Irish Red Cross towards those who seek nothing more than honesty, integrity and the truth. Of course if it can be satisfactorily shown that the article is factually incorrect or inaccurate in any way I will immediately edit and correct it. In addition I will make a point of noting the changes and corrections so that readers do not miss them. They will not be a mere footnote. The Donegal Area Committee Chairperson can make direct contact with me should she so wish at noelwardick@yahoo.com where we can discuss a right of reply.

    Noel Wardick

  11. Anonymous6:21 AM

    The best right of reply the Donegal Area Chairwoman could give is a written apology to Mr. Moyne for the disgraceful way he was treated. Im sure the Blogger would be happy to post that on the Blog for the Chairwoman.

  12. Anonymous6:41 AM

    You have to laugh at Irish Red Cross coz its either that or go mental. People get their sensitive noses out of joint and jump up and down in a huff and throw little tantrums when their names are mentioned or when their colleagues names are mentioned. But they are perfectly ok with:

    1. Taking over €600,000 from the Haiti earthquake fund during 2010 and using it in Ireland to hide the organisation's massive losses.
    2. Firing Noel Wardick for telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
    3. Keeping over €160,000 that was for tsunami victims in an undeclared Tipperary bank account for over 3 years until the people responsible were caught in a secret audit. Still those people hold high office in the Irish Red Cross. Nothing happens because everyone is afraid of the 'man'.
    4. Redirecting millions of Euros over lots of years, yes millions, that was collected for overseas appeals, and using it in Ireland to pay massive consultancy fees, legal fees and to prop up the ambulance and first aid brigade.
    5. Keeping a secret undeclared property portfolio which IRC external auditors say is against accounting policy. By the way Wardick is wrong when he says IRC could have 25 properties around the country which it keeps off its books. The real figure is closer to 50.
    6. When staff, members and the occasional board member are bullied and threatened for being honest and good at their jobs.
    7. When somewhere between 7 and 10 secretaty generals have all left the Irish Red Cross in controversail circumstances.
    8. When board members serve for 20 years which is against all known good governance procedures.

    Ah yes but your sensitive little noses are out of joint because your sensistive little egos have been bruised. Do your jobs as elected officers of the Irish Red Cross and then you wont be criticised. Stop behaving like little children who have had their lollipop taken from them. And guess what? You can no longer get away with your old ways? The likes of Wardick, Moyne and many others behind the scenes will guarantee that.

  13. Anonymous7:07 AM

    Noel Wardick was fired for revealing the truth behind the Irish Red Cross so why is it that the following people have not been suspended and investigated:

    Tony Lawlor following the shocking findings of the Tsunami bank account investigation. Also what has his role been in keeping lots of Irish Red Cross properties secret? Oh yeah and his 20 years on Executive. Time to go for that reason alone. Then there is the Haiti money.

    Tom Horwell, Executive Committee member, for releasing confidential Irish Red Cross information about the appointment of a new secretary general onto his personal facebook page more than 24 hours before Irish Red Cross officially announced it. Thanks to Tom's indiscretion lots of us knew about Donal Forde's appointment in advance. Wardick was fired for supposedly releasing confidential information so why is Horwell not fired for doing the same? Ironic that it was Horwell who found Wardick guilty! You couldnt make this stuff up!!

    Ted Noonan, IRC Treasurer, for his role in not investigating the Tipperary tsunami bank account despite knowing about it since its discovery in 2008. What has been his role in the undeclared property portfolio? What about his knowledge of the Haiti money?

    Des Kavanagh, ex IRC Treasurer, for his role in the Tipperary branch breaches of IRC finance policy over many years. Why did he not launch an investigation and apply IRC rules and procedures? Why did he not stop the Tipperary branch from breaking the rules? Why did he not close the Tipperary branch? His role in the Pakistan blanket issue as revealed on RTE's Prime Time needs a separate investigation as does his role in the undeclared property portfolio.

    Ah the skeletons, the skeletons..

  14. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Mr Warick,

    I have somewhat enjoyed this blog but am disappointed at the tone of the latest post.

    What a shame it seems that an alliance has been formed with someone who does not truly believe in the same cause as you but rather in their own vendetta. Someone who appears to regard their actions as some Martyr like sacrifice, someone who knows no other way than anger and attack. A shame that this alliance might continue, causing focus to shift and dilute.

    Not a fan of Yer Man.

    ps: In regards to the comment:

    "I have no doubt Ms. Rutherford can produce a rule book from a dusty shelf somewhere to demonstrate that the presence of Mr. Moyne contravened the letter of the Irish Red Cross law"

    Am I correct in my understanding that the rule book is also known as the Irish Red Cross Statutes?

    If they are indeed one and the same then I see know reason to risk our necks hunting high dusty shelves when indeed it can be found online.


  15. The reference made to correspondence sent to the representative on Central Council Mr Mackey was indeed the letter sent to all Central Council representatives and indeed it should be worthy of a response and some Central Council representatives did take the matter seriously enough and made immediate contact with me.

    The difficulty with being a hard working Red cross member is that if anyone suggests that you are not keeping within the ethos of the Principles or suggests that the Red Cross Executive takes money out of Appeals for the purpose of paying for expensive court actions etc and members of that same group are caught hiding money in Bank accounts you are now deemed to be a coward ! interesting slant on how this Red Cross member views this Society.

    For a great length of time this Blog and for over 20 years myself have compaigned for an open investigation into the political influences within the Irish Red Cross and the actions taken by a few who will use every means open to threaten and bully staff and members to protect their postions on the Executive. I have written at length over the years on issues realting to overseas Appeals and the misuse of funds. Not a single response or action !I was threatened with court action by a member of the Executive. Not a single investigation happened into these serious allegations ! However should one suggest that the integrity of the members is being questioned every one throws the dummy out of the pram and gets upset! I am sure the people of Haiti are allot more upset in their tents than you are ! The Sunami victims could no doubt used the money resting in the account in Tipperary. No one has answered the question why the Tip. Branch failed to file accounts for years whilst still being able and allowed to appoint representatives to the Central Council.

    If we can not deal with the past we have no hope of dealing with the future !

  16. Anonymous1:01 PM

    "Some people live in a very sad wee world now we are lead to believe that the principles of the Red Cross are for sad cowardly blogers and not the dedicated honest hard working members."

    While I do not always condone or agree with how Mr. Wardick proceeded with this blog, I don't doubt his courage. Lets face it - from the day he started posting, he knew his neck and job was on the line. That does take courage in these uncertain times.

    What I find saddest is that members who have worked for the good of the society, both on the ground and at national level, without thought of reward or honor (and those who have worked with Ms. Rutherford will know her to be a tireless worker for the red cross as a whole, and the youth branch in particular), are now subject to summary public judgement of their principles, motives and very honor.

    My fear is this:
    The reform the blogger has called for will come - and this is not to be feared in itself. In fact, I think it is now inevitable. However, I do not think it will come in the landslide that is called for, but rather one rock at a time will be worn down and washed away by the tide of change. BUT....at what cost. I fear we will have a society divided and polarized. Wounds are now being inflicted that will take years to heal and the very same members who will have to pull together to lift ourselves our of the mire may well be so hurt, demoralized and disillusioned that they will simply say "I've had enough", and we will loose some of the most dedicated and committed people we have in the ranks today.

    While I cannot match Mr. Moyne's 37 years, I've been a life member of the Irish Red Cross for over 20 years and I feel like I've been listening to internal fighting and whining over this topic and that topic for all of those 20 years.

    To depart from poetry and instead venture into the recent remake of Battlestar Galactica "All this has happened before, and will happen again"

    Lets ALL of us - members and staff alike - take a deep breath and remember that we are here for the good of those who need our help. Lets focus on that, not on internal fighting.

  17. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Maybe time for more Poetry ?


    In the midst of luxury,
    beyond the hand of sorrow
    There lies a hidden truth,
    the wise can see tomorrow

    From the vivid imagination,
    within the makings of a dream
    Spawns the desires of ones heart,
    the driving force transmutes reality

    Throughout the history of mankind,
    it's documented as a simple truth
    The investment of sheer passion,
    produces the undeniable proof

  18. Anonymous4:22 PM

    "The above article is not in any way intended to be a personal attack but rather a statement of factual events as they occured. These events again provide evidence of the unacceptable behaviour of the Irish Red Cross towards those who seek nothing more than honesty, integrity and the truth. Of course if it can be satisfactorily shown that the article is factually incorrect or inaccurate in any way I will immediately edit and correct it. In addition I will make a point of noting the changes and corrections so that readers do not miss them. They will not be a mere footnote. The Donegal Area Committee Chairperson can make direct contact with me should she so wish at noelwardick@yahoo.com where we can discuss a right of reply.

    Noel Wardick"


    A well thought and reasoned response to my earlier comment regarding a "right of response".

  19. Anonymous6:21 AM

    As one commenter above points out (with reference to poetry etc) this blog has refrained from articles of a personal nature to date and I agree that the apparent intent of the blog would not be served by falling into a cycle of pinpointing individual members for particular actions.
    However it should be noted that this article is stating the events as reported to have occured at the area meeting. The blog Author has clearly offered a forum to respond or clarify the events as reported and indeed accounts from any others present on the night would be welcome, I am sure.
    The comment preceeding my comment is pertinent in its point regarding sensitivities. The Irish Red Cross has serious issues which cannot be ignored. If the questionable actions of those at branch level are being driven by higher powers well it is simply not acceptable to hide behind those powers as a defence for those actions. Speaking of sensitivities the central council and executive committee have displayed absolutely no sensitivity in how it deals with "questioners": firing staff members for gross misconduct on extremely dubious grounds appears to sit very easily on their consciences. It is not just pride that is hurt by having your name splashed across the media for being fired, it is careers, livlihoods and professional reputations that are destroyed.

    I certainly believe this blog has provided a forum for members, volunteers and staff to discuss serious concerns and grievances and I encourage it to continue.
    Unforuntately I see another comment with reference to bloggers and cowards in the same sentence. Does the Author of that comment realise that the Author of these blog articles refused to close the blog, an action which essentially cost him his career with the Irish Red Cross, is this the action of a coward?

    To conclude, I hope this blog continues to provide the members volunteers and staff of the Irish Red Cross, who are indeed dedicated and hard working, a forum to raise and discuss concerns without the threat of hostile rebuke as is unfortunalely all too likely by going through official channels.

  20. Can we look forward to a real investigation into the ongoings within the Red Cross will the new Government expose the ghosts in the closets in Merrion Square and the invlovement of Fianna Fail in the nasty behaviours of some and how they have enjoyed impunity.

    I see today Labour will one of the first to take action

    "Labour will reform the governance

    structures of the Irish Red Cross to

    enable it to discharge its duties more

    effectively and transparently"

    P87 Labour Party Election manifesto launched today.


  21. Anonymous1:30 AM

    Is there any truth in the rumour that now Mubarak has gone the World focus will be on the Executive of the Red Cross in Ireland, will a crowd gather in Tipperary? to seek the removal of Anthony Lawlor., or perhaps Louth and turn the heat up on another infamous member, Mr Horwell. Famous for being unable to keep confidentiality, indeed a cause for some to be accused and found guilty of, (in Mr Horwels words) “Gross Misconduct”,

    I guess the difference between Mubarak and these guys is that he has a palace to go to! 2011 appears to a year for change, lets hope the Labour party gets in and is willing to blow the lid off the Fianna Fail strong hold which is the Irish Red Cross !

  22. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Me I'm focused and I don't need to go to spec savers to see that until we crush some of those rocks and lay them firmly on top of those who have been at the core of the injustices within the Irish Red Cross then nothing will cahnge and those who suggest that we need to give this time should reflect on the money which made it's way North via the Irish Red Cross to support a war which was intself unjust.

    So while you sit and wait for the dawn all I can say is good luck with that one it will be a long night. It took from 1939 to get us thus far!

  23. On Saturday the 10th February 2011 I attended the memorial service in Derry for the late Lady Aileen Mc Corkell, OBE, a spirited individual who gave of herself and risked often her own safety during the troubles in Northern Ireland to promote the work of the Red Cross. She made her home available for peace talks between the IRA and the British Government in the early 1970's offering afternoon tea to the participants in the hope that the spirit of the Red Cross would help contribute to an end to the violence.

    She founded the British Red Cross in Derry in the late 60’s and worked tirelessly in conjunction with the Order of Malta to bring meals to the needy and first aid to the injured during the worst of the Troubles. I met her in the late 80's and she introduced me for the first time to the “Principles of the Red Cross”. This was an inspirational education. She also introduced me to the Ideals in Action course run by the British Red Cross in Barnet Hill in the UK and inspired in me a life long hope that the Irish Red Cross would involve itself in the search for peace, an end to poverty and humanitarianism in our country.

    Sadly, whilst peace came to the island of Ireland the Irish Red Cross cannot hold a match to the lantern that was Aileen Mc Corkell. When I asked her would she like to be involved in drilling wells in Tanzania she did not hesitate and in her memory are 15 deep water wells in Lupaso as a testament to her unfailing generosity and that of the British Red Cross. The Irish Red Cross declined to assist.

    She was committed all her life to the Principles of the Red Cross and whilst having a deeply British heritage she proved that this was not a barrier and that the Red Cross was more than just about individuals but rather about ideals that transcend nationalities, cultures, personalities and traditions. She wrote a memoir “A Red Cross in my pocket” and will be dearly missed by all of us who knew and admired her.

    She donated her life’s papers to the University of Ulster in 2002 and was a host to numerous ICRC delegates over many years who would visit prisoners in Ireland.

    At her memorial service the British Red Cross was represented by Mr. Michael Meyer, Head of International Humanitarian Law and Mr. Geoff Loane, ICRC’s representative in the UK, was also in attendance. The Church was full to breaking point and the solemn service was a true testament to the extremely high esteem the community in Derry, catholic and protestant alike, and the Red Cross internationally held Aileen Mr Corkell and her remarkable life.

    She canvassed the Irish Red Cross relentlessly over many years to have combined activities around the promotion of and respect for the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross. She assisted me in running two very successful events held in UCD and Buswells Hotel in Dublin with invited guests from ICRC, the IFRC and the Henry Dunant Institute.

    The Red Cross Movement has lost a much admired, hugely respected and loved member.

    May she Rest in Peace.

    Gerard Moyne

    Life member Irish Red Cross

  24. Anonymous2:34 AM

    The Irish Red Cross is stuck in a rut and until certain people are told to leave and are forced to resign for good nothing will change. There will be some improvements with Mr. Forde's arrival but they will be temporary and transitory, just like what happened when Carmel Dunne became Secretary General and when John Roycroft became Secretary Geneneral. Eventually the Vice Chairman and others on Executive wore them down and they 'left' the Society. Mr. Forde, through no fault of his own, will be no different. As has been said on this Blog Mr. Lawlor will try to be the Chairman next year and if he succeeds its the doomsday scenario for the Irish Red Cross. The shame would be too much and no amount of spin will save the organisation from the consequences.

    The Irish Red Cross accepts as its Vice Chairman a person who has ruled for 20 years in the psoition and who keeps an undeclared bank account with money in it for victims of a Tsunami for more than 3 years until he is caught and not one single member of the Central Council or Executive has the courage to tell him to go, demand that he goes. The Society's Treasurer and former treasurer both stayed quite despite knowing what was going on. And as for the €600,000 diverted from the Haiti fund! Again spineless silence. Is this not illegal, diverting money like that? Is there nothing the Gardai can do to return this money? Central Council members are so scared of one man that they will stay quite when secret bank accounts are confirmed and hundreds of thousands of Euros are taken from victims of natural disasters to cover up the Society's massive losses in Ireland. The cowardice and acceptance of such behaviour is frightening. Think of the bravery of the Egyptian people and then think Irish Red Cross central council. Two more dramatic polar extremes there couldnt possibly be.

  25. Anonymous2:42 AM

    The Cork Area of the Irish Red Cross did a great service to the Society when they issued a formal vote of no confidence in the previous caretaker Secretary General and two of his senior managers. This vote of no confidence was merited and justifed. Hopefully Mr. Forde will address the two remaining managers who despite the vote of no confidence remain in place.

    My question though is why did the Cork Area not vote no confidence in the Vice Chairman and the Treasurer but especially the Vice Chairman. As important as the vote of no confidence in the three managers was if the Cork Area really want to see positive change at the Irish Red Cross it would be great if they could extend their brave decision to issue a vote of no confidence to include the Vice Chairman. This would indeed be an action of some service to the Irish Red Cross.

  26. Anonymous4:58 AM

    Mr Moyne,

    Was the Irish Red Cross officially represented at this memorial service ?

  27. The Central Council shall meet soon who will stand up for the Red Cross outside this meeting with me! not as a protest but as a sign of solidarity with this great organisation and our wish for the dictators to realise that their days are numbered and that they have no respect for the Principles! If we as members are unwilling to see that taking monies from Appeals and treating people with inhumanity is wrong, then we are as guilty as if we put our own hands into the pockets of our donors and were the cause of the intimidationion ourselves...

    In the words of Henry Dunant !

    The enemy, our real enemy, is not the neighbouring country; it is hunger, cold poverty, ignorance, routine, superstition, prejudice.

  28. Anonymous1:07 AM

    I fully agree with the commenter above and Noel it would be great to see an article on the Galway area.

    Currently, the Area committee is abandonded and a motion to split the Area is with HQ.

    Unfortunatly this has happened primarily due to inequality been afforded to the 2 Units in the County. While we all know that each Branch elects 2 members to sit on the Area Committee our Colleagues in the Galway City Branch seemed to have missed this section in the rules and regulations and were to say the least "top heavy" thus easily making themselves the majority and steering things in the way they so desired.
    To add inslt to injury the 3 area officerships ADU, DADU, AADU, are also held by members of the Galway City Branch, and to further insult all injuries the member of the Executive (extremely long serving) is also from the Galway City Branch.

    Governance reform is needed throughout this organisation from the ground up to make sure situations like this are avoided in the future and equality is afforded to all members of our Society and we eliminate such elitist groups and mindsets.

    It is easy to see how our colleagues on the Executive can dominate the organisation when they have secured themselves locally in such a "elitist" way.


  29. If the Irish Red Cross were present their presence was not made known to the best of my knowledge.

    Another shame on the Society !

  30. Anonymous12:42 AM

    Will our Central Council representatives sneak in the back door of the next Central Council meeting and scurry out afterwards heads bowed in the shame they have brought upon the Irish Red Cross.

    Their characters are not in question it's their ability to understand the basics of right and wrong. They are a shining example as an analogy of how the church got away with decades of abusing our children. There are 42 memebrs of Central Council and few if any are willing to be counted for theri actions I hope that Noel Wardick drags every last one of them into court to stand before the courts and make an account of how they were invloved in the taking money from the people of Haiti and neumerous other Appeals over the last 30 years. Shine your shoes you will need something comfortable to stand in.

  31. Anonymous1:54 AM

    Every Irish Red Cross Area needs to ensure it elects to Central Council a person who is prepared to tackle head on the problems of the Irish Red Cross and in particular stand up to the Vice Chairman and his one or two loyal servants. Area Committees will soon be electing new Central Council members and rest assured the Vice Chairman will be doing his best to ensure no rebels are elected. He will want to ensure no trouble makers appear on the scene who will threaten his throne. He will put a huge amount of effort into this, make no mistake. It is incumbent on every Area to therefore counter this 'campaign' by electing someone with courage and conviction and someone prepared to stand up and be counted, quote the findings of the Tipperary Tsunami bank account investigation and demand the Vice Chairman's resignation for his central role. Next the current Treasurer (as well as the former one but it seems he has retired which is a god send) needs to be questioned and seriously questioned on his ongoing inaction and silence on financial matters of serious concern such as the missing Haiti money, the secret property portfolio and his protection of those involved in the Tipperary bank scandal.

    So Area Committees all this sordid mess can be ended this year if you elect the right people to Central Council. Its in your hands. After 20 long difficult years change is needed. Lets end the silence, show courage and end the fear.

  32. Anonymous1:59 AM

    What a surprise, the Executive Committee rep from the Galway City Branch, the one who has sat on Executive for over 20 years, is at the center of the Gaway Area debacle!!! What a surprise!!

    The Donegal and Galway Areas are proof, if proof was needed, that the Irish Red Cross is a very very very sick organisation. Funny how those with ridiculously long service on Executive keep appearing at the center of the Society's problems.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  33. Anonymous12:58 PM

    "Will our Central Council representatives sneak in the back door of the next Central Council meeting and scurry out afterwards heads bowed in the shame they have brought upon the Irish Red Cross.

    Their characters are not in question it's their ability to understand the basics of right and wrong. They are a shining example as an analogy of how the church got away with decades of abusing our children. There are 42 memebrs of Central Council and few if any are willing to be counted for theri actions I hope that Noel Wardick drags every last one of them into court to stand before the courts and make an account of how they were invloved in the taking money from the people of Haiti and neumerous other Appeals over the last 30 years. Shine your shoes you will need something comfortable to stand in."

    I will not sneak anywhere.
    I will not bow my head and scurry.

    I, for one, have no problem facing matters head on. If people have an issue with me, they can say it to my face.
    Is that fair enough for you.

    I do question. I do press for action and, Yes, I do have no problem accounting for my actions.

    So, if and when the time comes, I will stand up and be counted - and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth !

    Does that answer your question ?

  34. Anonymous2:09 PM

    I see Noel Wardick was interviewed extensively in today's (20th Feb 2011) Sunday Independent Life Magazine (P20/21). The topic was volunteering overseas and Wardick's comments and opinions were thought out and well articulated. Noel Wardick is referred to as "an overseas aid expert". No wonder the Irish Red Cross fired him. They have a cultural dislike of experts and people who can do their jobs. His type are not welcome in Merrion Square. The article also refers to him as "the Red Cross Whistleblower". Anyway its great to see that Wardick's reputation has not been damaged by his disgraceful dismissal by the amateurs on the Irish Red Cross board who could never be described as "experts". In fact Wardick's reputation as an expert and a man of integrity has been enhanced by his actions to expose the rotten core at the top of the Irish Red Cross. The article on volunteering overseas is very well written by the Sunday Indo journalist, Will Hanafin and is definitely worth reading. The sad thing is that the Irish Red Cross stupidily fired an expert such as Noel Wardick.

    Wardick was not the only one from Irish Red Cross in today's Sunday papers. The Sunday Times (20th Feb, P10)) had an article on the new Secretary General, Donal Forde, following an interview with him. An interesting article where Forde admits massive mistakes were made by him and others at AIB. The paper reports his salary in 2007 was €1.3 million while his Irish Red Cross salary will be €95,000, down from €160,000 paid to the last Irish Red Cross temporary secretary general. The Sunday Times discusses the Tipperary Tsunami bank account scandal, the one involving Tony Lawlor. The Sunday Times also reports that both the Labour party and Fine Gael's manifesto contain pledges to reform the Irish Red Cross. In the interview Forde said he couldnt comment on Noel Wardick's case as it was under appeal. If Forde was really smart he would immediately re-hire Wardick and make him his right hand man. Forde has no knowledge of overseas development. Wardick is an expert. Together they could smash the rotten cartel on the Executive Committee and transform the Irish Red Cross within three years. If he doesnt do this Irish Red Cross will be tied up in a lengthy and very public legal battle with Wardick which will cost a fortune and expose the organisation's filthy laundry in public and in the media for all to see.

  35. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Interesting the choice of person the Irish Red Cross has taken on as Secretary General. Were the applicants ability to be economical with the truth a provisio at the interviews. I have no doubt the members of the Executive will be just over the moon that they can get someone who can bend the truth to suit their needs.

    The Central Council member who posted that they will tell the truth, now what truth will that be? the truth as you know it? or the truth according to the Blog. Because the truth as far as you know will only be what Anthony Lawlor and others allow you to know. Which is jack sh*t.

    The Central Council are only brought in to be fed two hours of bull twice a year and that is it. You do not know a damn thing, you don't know how much property the Red Cross owns, you didn't know the Tipperary Branch had not filed accounts for several years, you did not know that the Red Cross takes money out of Appeals, you do not know that members of Staff are getting money from Red Cross for Academic fees and rent, you do not know that all information given to you is closely monitored. You were not even allowed to know or decide that the Red Cross took an hugely expensive action against Google. (Has the bill come in yet for that one?) So when it comes to your turn to tell the truth enjoy explaining why you as a Central Council member and trustee have not a clue what is going on !

  36. Anonymous4:27 AM

    Great point above about the importance of Areas electing people of calibre and courage to the Central Council. This is the only way to remove Lawlor and his dwindling little band. But be warned the word on the ground in our branch is that the Vice Chairman is already electionering behind the scenes and putting forward candidates to compete against existing Central Council members who have questioned him in the past. No one will be surprised to hear that his number one target is the CC rep for Cork as the powers that be are scared to death of him as he has been a brave campaigner for reform and change for years. Lawlor, with the support of his unquestioning loyal follower, the organisation's Treasurer, is putting forward 'their own man' who if elected wont be asking the difficult questions the current CC rep does. Everyone knows the current CC rep played a blinder at the last CC meeting in December with a series of hard hitting questions and statements that made Lawlor very uncomfortable and worried. The CC rep made himself a marked man that day, just as Wardick, Moyne and others before did when they stood up to the ineptitude and incompetence of the Irish Red Cross. Lawlor and co cant control the government nominees but they always target an Area Rep who questions them so other Areas had better watch out as well and be prepared to fight back. Lets hope the brave Cork Area rebels vote with their feet and return their current CC rep, a man of known integrity and honesty. Lawlor is trying to eliminate all opposition to him so he can make his move in April 2012 for the Chairmanship of the Irish Red Cross. Under no circumstances can this be allowed happen. It would sound the death knell for the Society.

  37. Anonymous4:33 AM

    Fair play to Wardick, great article in the Sunday Independent magazine on Sunday Feb 20th. He knows his stuff all right. Hopefully it was a boost for him after his terrible treatment at the hands of his executioneers. Although his executioneers seemed to have badly botched the job because he just wont go away!!! And lets hope he never goes away until heads at the top of Irish Red Cross roll. Good luck to O'Callaghan and Forde as they try to chop those heads off but as has been said here before if they dont chop those heads off then without doubt their own heads will be chopped off. It really is that simple.

  38. Anonymous4:57 AM

    "I, for one, have no problem facing matters head on. If people have an issue with me, they can say it to my face.
    Is that fair enough for you.

    I do question. I do press for action and, Yes, I do have no problem accounting for my actions.

    So, if and when the time comes, I will stand up and be counted - and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth !"

    And so says a Central Council member who wrote the comment above.

    It can only be described as INCREDULOUS that the CC rep would say "if and when the time comes I will stand up and be counted". What utter tripe, what garbage. Where have you been for the last few years??? "If and when the time comes"? Are you for real? The time came years ago and you people sat with your heads in the sand. All the evidence you could possibly ever require has been presented to you and still you remain the most passive bunch of people god ever put on this earth. What more evidence do you require of the endless wrongdoings and corruption before you "stand up and be counted". Stand up and be bloody counted now for god's sake. Its not about asking a few timid little questions at Central Council and then running away for another six months. Its about standing up and demanding Tony Lawlor resign for his actions which in any other organisation would see him expelled. Stop being afraid. Ask the Treasurer and the former Treasurer why they failed to implement Irish Red Cross finance policy? Why they protected Lawlor? Why they failed to investigate Tony Lawlor after his secret little bank account was discovered. Why they have breached standard accounting procedures year after year in keeping the IRC property portfolio a secret. There are reports of 50 properties around the country!! What about the €600,000 taken form the Haiti fund to hide the Society's huge losses? What about the millions taken from overseas appeals over the last 20 years? What about the 9 sectretary generals fired or chased out? What about the hundreds of thousands of Euros spent on legal fees fighting court cases after bullying, harassment and firing of numerous staff who stood up to Lawlor? What about the hundreds of thousands wasted on consultants? What about the endless lies and deceit, remeber Prime Time?! What about the breaches of all known good governance practice by Lawlor and others who have served for ever on Executive? Just remind me again when exactly you think it will be the 'right time' to 'stand up and be counted'? Well it was a long time ago. Tom Horwell and others fired Noel Wardick because he wrote confidential information on this Blog. He wrote the truth. Why wasnt Tom Horwell fired when he announced the appointment of Donal Forde on his personal facebook site a day before it was to be offically announced by the Irish Red Cross Chairman? The hypocrasy is sickening. The incompetence staggering. Yes, stand up and be counted but do it NOW. Demand Tony Lawlor's resignation and explusion for life from IRC. Install a competent Treasuer. Have some standards and self respect.

    The next Central Council meeting is early March so as Nike would say "Just Do It"!

  39. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Yes we see the same faces stuck in the middle of the Galway mess!

    How is it that the same rep has managed to secure his election every single time for over 20 years?? Very easy when we see how his flock is carefully chosen and placed onto committees locally and nationally despite having no relevant service or no experience but with the whisper of the inner sanctum member it is easily arranged.

    It is long overdue that the rep in Galway is thrown from the Executive and all other committees and get off his self importance trip and keep his trophies and elitist attitudes to himself.

    Fairness for all members should be the key actions for a rep not what can i do for myself

    Galway wake up and get rid

  40. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Our CC rep was told the next Central Council meeting is on 5th March. Its purpose is to discuss the governance reform proposals. These proposals were written by Lawlor and co. so they should be called "governance status quo". There will be no real change if they go through, there will never be a full member general assembly again and we will have to endure the Vice Chairman and others of his ilk for many more years. Central Council members should substantially revise the proposals and under no circumstances vote them in as they are currently written.

    Remember turkeys never vote for Christmas so given Lawlor insisted he be on the 'governance reform committee' he was never going to allow proposals go through that would see him and others like him removed. His mere presence on the governance committee should be sufficient to raise suspicions and concerns.

    Remember this Central Council members: the Executive Committee reports to you and NOT the other way around. As this blog has said many times you are the supreme governing body of the Irish Red Cross and NOT the Executive so please do not forget this and please remind the Executive of this when they try to ram the supposed proposals down your throat on March 5th.

    On 25th February 2011 Irish people will vote out the worst government in our history and finally give the country some chance of hope and recovery. Lets hope Central Council members will do something similarly important and beneficial on March 5th. Voting in the governance 'reform' proposals as they currently stand would be the equivalent of voting Fianna Fail back into power.

  41. I made an application under the Data Protecion Act 1988/2003 to the Irish Red Cross Society on the 15th November 2010 the legislation allows for the Society to comply within 40 days with this request. To date whilst I have recieved two items of correspondence from the Society saying in letter A. that they have nothing and in letter B they have something but am I sure that I want it, not a single document has been forthcoming ! I have written to the new Chairman several times and to date not a single response or a recognition of reciept of this correspondence has been received.

    I could take this faiure to respond as an insult or just being rude, but have not made my mind up yet! I will expect a response ! I still not understand how the Society can balance the principle of Neutrality with political appointments.

  42. Anonymous8:57 AM

    if all our great wise leaders all put up trophies in their names to hounour their greatness the competitions would be amazing to attend

    here would be a sample of what we could all compete in

    1. who can buy the most expensive blankets?
    2. who can hide the most property in the accounts?
    3. who can break all confidentiality rules the fastest?
    4. Can you find my hidden bank accounts?
    5. who can stay up and drink the most at a Cadet competition?

    just a short sample but sure you will agree there is many more we could have and plenty of names to add to the trophies!!!!

  43. Anonymous8:57 AM

    I heard an interesting piece of information today. I heard that the reason the former Acting Secretary General (the finance consultant guy, cant remember his name but the one who was caught hiding from Prime Time) didnt get the permanent Secretary General job is because of all the evidence presented by Noel Wardick at his disciplinary hearings and appeal. While it didnt save Noel's own neck apparently even the Executive was shocked at the incontrovertible evidence presented by Noel and a decision was taken many months ago that the former Acting Secretary General had to be removed as soon as possible. Fair play to you Noel, that was a big scalp! You have had some great successes since you launched your campaign. Hopefully more to come!

    Of course the evidence against Lawlor and co is equally incontrovertible but since they make the decisions they will never rule against themselves and most Central Council members are afraid of Lawlor for some strange reason.

    I wonder how long it will take Donal Forde to realise that its not he who is the boss, nor is the Chairman, O'Callaghan. Tony Lawlor is. As the man says, in time, all in good time.

    If Forde doesnt plan Lawlor's removal he is a dead man walking. Like Fine Gael Forde should have his 'first 100 days' plan where he makes his mark, asserts his authority and declares that those responsible for past sins will be removed from the Society for good.

  44. I stood outside the last meeting with Mary Cullivan an ex employee and also a donor to the Red Cross joined us. Who will stand with me at the next meeting. I may be a voice in the wilderness. But I will be heard I demand to be heard, I will not be silenced. Today I posted a letter to every single CC member via Head Office as per instructions received from Merrion Square as no one is allowed to know the addresses of our elite CC Members. Proud as punch they are of their positions.

    Rosa Parks made a stand for what is right and I will do likewise and I will be damn proud of being true to my own beliefs.

    So if anyone wishes to stand with me I will look forward to seeing you there in solidarity with the Red Cross !

  45. Anonymous5:20 AM

    Article from Sunday Times, 20th February 2011 re Irish Red Cross new Secretary General, is below.

    Noel Wardick

    Bank chief seeks to rescue reputation with Red Cross

    Mark Tighe

    20 February 2011
    The Sunday Times

    © 2011 Times Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved

    THE former head of Allied Irish Banks' Irish business says he regards his new role at the Irish Red Cross (IRC) as a chance for rehabilitation.

    In his first interview since he was sidelined by AIB in 2009, Donal Forde said he was "clearly" wrong when he told an Oireachtas committee in 2008 that AIB's lending had been "very prudent".

    Forde was appointed secretary-general of the IRC last month but the charity, too, has been at the centre of a scandal. Last year The Sunday Times revealed that €162,000 in donations for tsunami victims lay idle in a Tipperary bank account for three years. An internal report said a systems failure meant the money was not notified to headquarters.

    Forde was managing director of AIB from 2002 to 2009 and in 2007 received a salary of €1.39m from the now almost-wholly nationalised bank. "It's not as wild a jump to make as people might imagine. I retired from the bank, but I'm only 50. When I thought about the challenge facing the IRC it is an organisational management one. At AIB there were 8,000 staff in the republic and there are 6,000 volunteers here," he said.

    Forde's salary is expected to be about €95,000, down from the €160,000 paid to his predecessor.
    "I was keen to do something unambiguously good, if I can be that frank about it," said Forde.

    "Being a part of the banking scene leaves a bad taste and being involved in it was not a pleasant experience. There's a job to be done here and I'm up for it. Wouldn't it be great to think in three years we could double the membership, have more success in fund-raising and be more effective at responding to disasters?" At an Oireachtas committee hearing in 2008 Forde said AIB had behaved "very responsibly" in its lending and had "maintained a very prudent credit stance".
    The bank has since suffered losses of billions of euros due to bad loans, and the state controls 93% of shares. "Clearly that was a mistaken view," said Forde.
    "End of story: we were wrong. I am keen to move on from AIB. I want to do other things with my life. I can put my hand on my heart and say that I wasn't part of anything I thought was reckless at the time, the fact that it was [reckless] in hindsight I can't dispute."

    The IRC was in the news last year after Noel Wardick, its international director, was fired for gross misconduct for posting material critical of the charity on an anonymous blog.

    Wardick is appealing against his dismissal and Forde said he could not comment on the case.

    The IRC receives just under €1m in state funding each year. Both Labour and Fine Gael have promised in their election manifestos to reform the charity. The IRC's board is expected to agree proposed reforms next month.

  46. Anonymous4:22 PM

    As a trainer of cadet teams and attending many competitions throughout the country over many years. I am appaled at the comment that cadet members who range from the ages of ten to sixteen are being accused of staying up and having drinking competitions. I can assure anonymous that no alcholic drink is allowed into the function room during the meal and at the celebrations after the cadet competitions which is a supervised disco from 9.00pm to 11.00pm. Persons in charge of the cadets staying over are not permitted to consume alcohol under child protection regulations as far as I am aware, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. As one of the supervisors of our team at the 2009 competitions I can assure that at no stage were the cadet teams subjected to witnessing any members consuming alcohol. If other Adult members who were attending the competitions at thier own expence were enjoyning a social experience in thier own time fair play to them. Write away at your blogs but please keep our children out of it