Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Will Irish Red Cross issue formal apology to families who donated properties?

For over twenty years the national media in Ireland has reported on the financial irregularities, misuse of resources and poor governance at the Irish Red Cross. During this time, and particularly in recent years, there has been a number of shocking revelations. One of the more significant of these has been the discovery that the Irish Red Cross has an extensive property portfolio that it has failed to declare in its financial statements, in breach of Standard Accounting Practice for Charities. The Irish Red Cross estimated in 2010 that the value of these properties was in the region of €7 million. While presumably the value has declined substantially over the last year or two due to the recession the omission of assets worth millions of Euro from the Society accounts is a matter of utmost public concern.

What is important to note re the undeclared properties is that the Irish Red Cross has been fully aware for nearly twenty years that it was in blatant breach of accounting and financial protocol by purposefully and consciously omitting valuable assets from its financial statements. The current external auditors of the Irish Red Cross, BDO, have highlighted the matter every year since 2000. As a result of its actions the Irish Red Cross has wilfully misrepresented its financial accounts to the Irish Government, its members and volunteers, its staff and to the Irish public every year for nearly two decades.

The location of these properties, the use to which they are put (if any), their state of repair, who is responsible for them, their rental income if any and who donated them has been kept a closely guarded secret by a tight inner circle of individuals. The information has been kept from the highest governing authority of the Society, the governing Central Council. Many on the closed and secretive Executive Committee have little knowledge or detail on the property portfolio. The question must therefore be asked, and answered by way of an independent investigation, why this is so.

If any such independent investigation deems it appropriate, the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation could be asked to assist.

The failure of governance, senior financial management and fiduciary oversight at the Irish Red Cross has allowed this situation arise and continue for years. As with the litany of other scandals at the Society no-one has been held accountable. Because the charity sector in Ireland is so poorly regulated the Irish Red Cross has been permitted to breach proper accounting procedure year on year without any person ever being prosecuted or held to account for doing so.

For those not familiar with the correct accounting procedure for the treatment of donated assets such as properties to the Society the property must be professionally valued and the amount recorded as INCOME in the financial statements. The value of the donation must also be recorded as an ASSET on the balance sheet. For every property donated to the Irish Red Cross the Society failed to do this. As such the annual accounts massively misreported the income of the Society and under reported the value of its assets by millions and millions of Euros.

In understanding the nature of this scandal it is very important to realise that these unrecorded and unaccounted for properties were, in the main and possibly in entirety, donated to the Irish Red Cross by members of the public following the death of the property’s owner. As Irish people will know only too well one’s home is usually by far the most valuable asset a person accrues in their lifetime. For any Irish person or family to donate a property to a charity is a hugely generous and selfless act.

These properties were donated by the families for use by the Irish Red Cross in its pursuit, as per its mandate, of humanitarian activities and to be used in the best interests of the Society and its intended beneficiaries. The fact that the Irish Red Cross repeatedly failed to keep track of these properties, has mislaid title deeds and ownership documents, failed to record the properties in the Society’s accounts, has left a number of properties idle and vacant and has been unable to explain how or what the properties are used for is a shocking betrayal of public trust. It represents a scandalous misuse of assets worth millions of Euros.

If even one family donated cash of say €100,000 to the Irish Red Cross and the money was not recorded in the accounts and the money was difficult to locate or track down or its use not readily identifiable it is likely the Gardai would be immediately be called in. Or at least that is what would happen in a well functioning organisation. Failure to record and keep track of extremely valuable property donations is no different than failing to record and keep track of cash donations.

As a direct result of the Dail’s (Ireland’s Parliament) Public Accounts Committee Hearing on the 13th October 2011 into allegations of financial irregularities at the Irish Red Cross and following the inclusion of the Society (Chapter 32) in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Annual Report the Department of Defence was forced to admit for the first time that the Irish Red Cross has at least 18 properties around Ireland that it has failed to record or properly account for. The Department did not state whether 18 was the totality of the missing properties. The Department did state that for ten of these properties it would take at least another 6-12 months “to re-construct documents of title for 10 of these”. This is a shocking indictment of incompetence and negligence at the Society.

Readers may be interested to know that the Society was instructed to deal with the property problem as far back as 1992. To-date not one person has been held to account for this spectacular failure of governance and management. It can only be hoped that the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee follow-on Hearing into the Irish Red Cross scheduled for 2012 will shed some further light on this distasteful affair.

In the meantime nothing short of a full scale public apology to the families of bereaved loved ones and kind benefactors who donated properties is immediately required of the Irish Red Cross.

In addition to the public apology the Irish Red Cross needs to be seen to hold those responsible to account and it needs to state on public record that such misuse of resources and financial irregularity will never occur again. It will also be critically important that the Irish Red Cross state categorically (assuming it can do so with conviction) that no criminal offence or activities took place in relation to the properties. This apology, given the scale of the betrayal of trust, should be issued by way of large public advertisements in the main national newspapers (Irish Times, Irish Independent and Sunday Independent) as well as on TV and radio. It is also an absolute necessity that all families who donated properties are individually contacted and the situation and future plans explained in detail to them.

On the 10th December 2011 the Central Council of the Irish Red Cross will meet. It can only be assumed that the Central Council report issued to members in advance of the meeting has an extensive and detailed report on the Dail Public Accounts Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Irish Red Cross. One also assumes that the upcoming Public Accounts Committee hearing into the Irish Red Cross in 2012 will be discussed and debated at length. It is a matter for the Central Council to decide how this matter should be handled and as such they need to direct the Secretary General and Executive Committee accordingly.

The inclusion of a full chapter on financial mismanagement at the Irish Red Cross in the Government’s Comptroller and Auditor General’s Annual Report will also presumably be high on the agenda.

In the event that the Central Council report omits the fact that the Irish Red Cross is under investigation by the Dail’s most powerful and influential cross party Committee it will prove beyond doubt that nothing has changed and that the Irish Red Cross remains as closed, secretive and misgoverned as ever. It will also demonstrate once again that information is purposely held from the highest deliberative authority of the Society.

Given the staggering incompetence and deceit shown over PropertyGate this Blog calls on Central Council members to instruct the Secretary General to initiate an independent investigation into the affair. In the meantime the Central Council should reassert its ultimate authority and demand a full list of all Irish Red Cross properties, their location, their current use, their current physical state and who has day to day responsibility for each one. These assets are worth millions of Euro and the supreme governing authority of the Society (the Central Council) needs to demand and insist on full disclosure.

Consideration should be given to the establishment of a special Property Sub-Committee of the Central Council to interact with any independent investigation. Members of this sub-committee would, as part of their terms of reference, visit and physically inspect every single Irish Red Cross property. It would be much more preferable if such a sub-committee was made up of non-Executive Committee members in order to avoid any conflict of interest. Any independent investigation would then liaise with this sub-committee, the Department of Defence and if necessary the Garda Fraud Bureau. Perhaps a representative from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) could also sit on either the CC Property Sub-Committee or the Independent Committee.

Time will tell whether the Irish Red Cross has the moral courage to apologise to all those donor families it has failed so badly. The history and culture at the top of the Irish Red Cross tells us no such apology will ever be forthcoming. There are those who tell us things are changing at the Society and changing for the better. Perhaps these individuals would be better advised to desist from their empty propaganda and spin. Instead proof via actions and substance that the Irish Red Cross has changed would be far more desirable. Hold people to account, demand resignations, enforce them if not forthcoming and issue a public apology. Then perhaps we might believe.

True remorse is never just a regret over consequence, it is a regret over motive-Mignon McLaughlin


  1. Anonymous2:46 AM

    If an apology is the right thing to do, which it is, then you can be 100% sure the Irish Red Cross will never apologise. Its leaders do not have the courage, decency, honour or backbone to issue a public apology. As the article says remove those responsible, issue open and sincere apologies to families and start afresh. Otherwise be dogged by controversy for years to come.

  2. Anonymous7:29 AM

    Wouldnt it be such a nice Christmas present if Central Council surprised us at tomorrow's meeting and took decisive action on the incompetence and misgovernance that has brought near ruin on the Irish Red Cross. Unfortunately this will not happen as the Central Council is weak and has allowed itself become mostly irrelevant. Most members either support the Vice Chairman and his actions and whether they support him or not they fear him. Now that his power base has been re-established following his insistence on going to Geneva and it being acceded to the Central Council (CC) will probably be quieter than ususal..if that is possible.

    So no nice Christmas presents from CC this year. Unfortunately Santa Claus is not real so we cant write him a long letter asking him to save the Irish Red Cross and to remove those who have wrecked it. Pity that.

  3. Anonymous3:58 AM

    The Irish government has cut the annual grant in aid to Irish Red Cross by €95,100 or 10%. This is no surprise. The government grant has been €951,000 per year from which €130,000 goes to ICRC in Geneva and the balance of €821,000 goes to cover salaries in head office. The new grant will be €855,900.

    In effect the cut to the head office grant is greater than 10% as the full grant cut of €95,100 has to come from the €821,000 portion as the full amount of €130,000 to ICRC will continue to be paid. Therefore the real cut to head office is closer to 12%.

    Lets hope the well resourced branches are asked to cover this deficit as making staff at head office redundant will only further weaken the service provision of the Irish Red Cross.

  4. Anonymous1:35 AM

    The 10% cut to Irish Red Cross funding is the first of a number that will more than likely kick in over the next 3 years. Between now and 2014 Irish Red Cross will see its funding cut by probably around 30-50%.

    Irish Red Cross recently hired two Commercial Sales Managers (yes its still a charity apparently..). Lets hope they are good at their jobs as they have alot of ground to make up because of falling funds from the government and Irish public

  5. Anonymous1:44 AM

    The Central Council of the Irish Red Cross met on Saturday 10th December and like the Minister's letter of the 16th May 2011 the Central Council were not even informed in the Central Council report that they were being investigated by the public accounts committee about misappropriation of money within the Society. Had the subject not been mentioned by a delegate at the meeting it would not have been discussed. I wonder will the members of the Central Council come under the new criminal justice bill. They all know there have been questionable dealings with money and property, is it possible these matters may constitute a crime? To determine yes or no an independent investigation is required. The Irish Red Cross will soon be running a campaign to endeavour to win the hearts and minds of the Irish people. It will probably say we know we took your money, and used it wrongly before, we are sorry and trying to make amends, but if you give us more we promise to make sure we spend it right this time. I guess this is all coming from the vast experience of previous dealings with financial institutions. You really could cry with despair. Not a single one on Saturday spoke against the Vice Chairman or called for his resignation, the true boss of the Irish Red Cross. Therefore complicit all of them.

  6. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Minister Shatter was back answering questions on the Irish Red Cross in the Dail on the 6th December 2011.

    Specifically the never ending problem of the excessive length of service of Irish Red Cross Vice Chairman, Anthony Lawlor, and the Treasurer, Ted Noonan, was the source of the questions. The continued presence of the two men in governance positions was once again questioned.

    In response the Minister was clear that he finds such service inappropriate and unacceptable. The Minister stated:

    "My views on the need for turnover and rotation at leadership levels in the Society are well known. I do not consider it conducive to good corporate governance that any individual can serve for an indefinite period on either the Central Council or on the Executive Committee. I have made these views known to the Society...."

    Its unfortunate that Mr. Lawlor and Mr. Noonan continue to ignore the Minister's wishes and feel they can continue to breach good corporate governance practice indefinitely by refusing to step down. Is it any wonder then that the Minister has cut the government grant to Irish Red Cross by nearly €100,000.

  7. Anonymous1:39 AM

    The link to the Dail questions on the 6th December concerning the Irish Red Cross Vice Chairman and Treasurer is:

  8. Anonymous1:43 AM

    Given that the two new Irish Red Cross commercial sales Managers can only use 13% of the take, as 87 % it seems has to go back to the Branches. I'm no mathematician, but running any venture on a gross margin of 13% will not work. Then again it might work if the Irish Red Cross can get a few more Haiti Appeals, were they took 600k out of the Haiti Appeal and put it into their domestic banks account. This is known as a 'legitimate' practice according to the Irish Red Cross apparently. Those that gave over their hard earned cash were fooled, and the people of Haiti didn't get 600k due to a manipulation in the financial practices of the IRC. This practice of using Appeal money for other purposes has gone on for decades.

  9. Anonymous2:30 AM

    My understanding is that branches will be asked to cover a range of costs normally covered by head office in order to make up for the downward spiral in government and public funding.

    If the branches are annoyed with this they only have themselves to blame. It is primarily their board members who they elect who are to blame for the appalling misgovernance of the Society which has led to so much negative media coverage and the resultant fall off in funding. If the branches want funding to start growing again then they need to elect completely different people to the Central Council and Executive Committee and they need to demand that the Vice Chairman and Treasurer step down. Otherwise they can expect bigger and bigger bills arriving locally instructing them to transfer large amounts of money to cover head office deficits and to prevent head office redundancies.

  10. Anonymous2:37 AM

    One of the more positive outcomes of the Central Council meeting on 10th December was the decision to suspend all purchases of new ambulances indefinitely.

    The Society already has 140 ambulances and sadly alot of the time these spend their days sitting in Unit members front driveways as trophies to big egos.

    Until a full analysis is carried out on the utilisation and operaton of the full Irish Red Cross ambulance fleet no new ambulances should be purchased. For once the Irish Red Cross has made the correct decision.

    Congratulations to Donal Forde, Secretary General, for taking the brave decision to suspend all new ambulance purchases until further notice. Maybe this will be a wake up call to local branches that the dysfunction of the Society is having real and negative consequences on everyone and if they want this to all go away then they should start by getting rid of the people who caused the dysfunction. If not it will be a long time before another new ambulance is purchased in the Irish Red Cross.

  11. Anonymous9:49 AM

    I wonder what the Ministers answer would be to the question. What are we getting now for 800k?

    Is the Red Cross needed at all. We could easily run the whole operation out of a portakabin in the midlands. We don't need it for First Aid training that could be taken up easily by a cheap scheme run by the VEC. We don't need the ambulances they are just fancy run arounds. What actually is the REd Cross needed for in Ireland. I know the work they do abroad is invaluable, but this could be taken over by an office in Geneva. As for all the other activities, well one could easily argue that in a cost benifit analysis that Tony and his friends are not worth 800k.

  12. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Deos this mean a certain individaul in the Tipperary Area will not have a 4x4 to run around in, shame really ! I bet he doesn't give up the veicle easily.
    4x 4's can be very handy if you have really important Humanitaraian work to do, like going to the bank, to check on the finances and the property portfolio.

  13. Anonymous9:01 AM

    What does the Irish Red Cross do with 140 ambulances? I could guess, but I am sure I would be wrong !

  14. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Bravo on the decision to suspend the purchase of new ambulances in 2012!

    Irish Red Cross ambulances are massively under utilised and have been used in the past to placate branches and massage some very big egos. The Irish Red Cross obsession with First Aid and ambulances at the expense of all other activities has to stop. Canceling all ambulance purchases for a couple of years is a good start.

  15. Anonymous1:20 AM

    Government grant to Irish Red Cross cut by nearly €100,000, ambulance purchases suspended, public donations falling, regional offices closed....and still the Board is in denial...and so are the branches who have taken the view that 'its nothing to do with us all this scandal'.

    Well its wake up and smell the coffee time for the branches. No new ambulances purchases and large cash transfers from branches to head office to cover the worsening deficit at Merrion Square. Well this is what happens when you keep electing the wrong people year after year.

  16. Anonymous1:42 AM

    Did the Central Council discuss issuing a comprehensive public apology for the disgraceful misuse of al least 18 properties which members of the public donated and which Irish Red Cross kept undeclared and off their financial statements?

    No they didnt discuss this which goes to prove the total lack of moral fibre that exists at the top of the Society. These people are shameless.

    Issue the apology and maybe regain some semblance of credibility

  17. Anonymous2:07 AM

    The Irish Red Central Council report lists out every occasion the Society got a mention in the media in some pathetic attempt to convince its readers that the Society is receiving positive media coverage.

    I know of no other organisation that suffers from such spectacular insecurity that it has to list in a report to its Board the few miserable appearances its makes in national and local media. Does anyone think the Concern or Trocaire reports to their boards has such a ridiculous section in it trying to convince its board members that the media widely reported on its activities when the exact opposite is true.

    The Fundraising/Communications Department of the Irish Red Cross is basically a Department of Spin and the more it does it the worse it looks.

    When an organisation has to go out of its way to tell everyone the media reported on a few stories you know that organisation suffers from severe paranoia and is very insecure. The phrase 'clutching at straws' springs to mind every time I read one of the nonsensical statements from the IRC Fundraising/Communications/Propaganda/Spin Department. Blindly in denial these people are. If it wasnt so serious it would be comical.

    In the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and last year and this year the media has reported continually on the misgovernance and financial irregularities at the Irish Red Cross. This will CONTINUE unabated until the Irish Red Cross get their act together.

    In the meantime please stop the cringeworthy amateurish attempts at spin and propaganda

  18. Anonymous6:29 AM

    The rationale for the overseas work of Irish Red Cross is unclear. The last combined 2 year annual report outlined grants as low as €2000 but with no actual detail on what the money was specifically used for.
    Whilst the International Movement have worked hard to develop and operate to strategic objectives and to report on a results basis, the Irish Red Cross report reads in the style of the 80's. There is no apparent connection between the report narrative and the financial accounting.
    Would suggest that until the IRC is reorgansied that those wishing to support the Red Cross send donations directly to the IFRC or ICRC in Geneva.

  19. Anonymous4:55 PM

    "Is the Red Cross needed at all. We could easily run the whole operation out of a portakabin in the midlands. We don't need it for First Aid training that could be taken up easily by a cheap scheme run by the VEC. We don't need the ambulances they are just fancy run arounds. What actually is the Red Cross needed for in Ireland. I know the work they do abroad is invaluable, but this could be taken over by an office in Geneva. As for all the other activities, well one could easily argue that in a cost benifit analysis that Tony and his friends are not worth 800k."
    HOW DARE YOU!!!!!
    I am an unpaid volunteer, I "run around" my area in my own (privatly owned) vehicle, at my own expense. I volunteer in the following projects here at home:
    *Member of a theraputic hand care troop that visits a local nursing home once a month (UNPAID).
    *Youth Leader every friday night (UNPAID).
    *Qualified as an EMT through the IRC at my own expense and activily go on ambulance duty at weekends (UNPAID).
    *Attend my unit training on a monday night (UNPAID).
    *Assist with church gate collections and flag days (UNPAID.
    *An instructor with in my branch and also assist branches nearby who do not have instructors (UNPAID)
    *Attend branch meetings once a month (UNPAID).
    *Attend area meetings every quarter (UNPAID).
    *In the Snow and Ice last year I took 2 weeks annual leave from my paid employment to transport Public Health Nurses around rural parts of my county and took patients who required dialysis to the local hospital, over 25 miles away, with no other suitable and available vehicles in the county this service would not have been available without the IRC (UNPAID).

    Does this justify the the grant the government gives the organisation????????

    Is my time and commitment any less valuable than the international worker??????????

  20. Anonymous1:35 AM

    Chickens coming home to roost for Irish Red Cross branches. They have stood idly by while their leadership wrecked the Society.

    As with the banking crisis the contagion has spread. Maybe now the Irish Red Cross Branches will do something and take their heads out of the sand for a change

  21. Anonymous7:42 AM

    Another Parliamentary Question in the Dail on Irish Red Cross on 14th December

  22. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Ambulance purchases cancelled and Irish Red Cross branches to start paying large sums of money to head office....yikes!!!

    Could 2012 be the year open civil war breaks out in the Irish Red Cross?

    I really hope Mr. Forde has the stomach for the fight ahead as he is touching a raw nerve on this one. If he loses this battle his authority is finished so he must see this decision through and not back down. If necessary he should resign if the board refuses to back him and go public with his reasons.

    More importantly though he needs to remove or keep on the sidelines those senior board members who will say one thing to his face while working behind his back to unravel his plans.

    Keep your eyes peeled Mr. Forde and be ever vigilant. You need to get out to the branches and explain yourself and your plans to those on the ground otherwise you will have certain Central Council and Executive Committee members and others fomenting revolt and before you know it you will be in serious difficulty.

    Stay alert and be extremely selective with who you trust. Alot of people are banking on you being successful (no pun intended!)

  23. Anonymous3:30 AM

    Fair play to the volunteer above who expresses his anger but perhaps this anger would be better directed at the people who have destroyed the Irish Red Cross, who kept secret bank accounts, who channelled overseas money to pay for domestic expenses, who bullied and harassed anybody who told the truth, who kept millions of Euros of properties undeclared, who have misgoverned and who have shown shocking displays of negligence and incompetence.

    I have no doubt the volunteer above does tremendous work, all unpaid, but if you want these problems to go away then do something about it and get angry at the people who deserve your anger.

  24. Anonymous4:00 AM

    What does the Irish Red Cross do with 140 ambulances? I could guess, but I am sure I would be wrong !

    Well that works out about 5 per county, on average. The IRC volunteers cover various events, sporting or otherwise, providing First Aid cover to those events for a fee. If a patient is in need of transportation to hospital than the IRC ambulance can do that. (The fee should go to towards covering diesel and other runnng costs, replacement of equipment, oxygen and so forth.)
    Was that anywhere near your guess?

  25. Anonymous6:14 AM

    In answer to the person who is complaining about being unpaid, sorry I am, for your troubles. The Red Cross is about Voluntary Service ! So whilst you are admirable in what you do, (unpaid look at the Headquarters whom you bow to. Do you think for one minute the Executive Committee are completely unpaid? Going back over twenty years not a single reference is made as to the level of expenses the Executive members get. One representative used to drive up to Dublin every Wednesday from the west, a 300 mile round trip to sign cheques. The justification for this and the expenses claimed are questionable. Look at the accounts and see if you can get the answer. As for the grant to the Red Cross justifying you doing Humanitarian work, I wonder if you didn't have the Red Cross Flag to stand under would you not be doing the same thing anyway? What did you do when you heard that the IRC took 600k out of the Haiti Appeal? What did you do when you found out that the Vice Chairman of the Society got caught with 162k of Tsunami money. What would have happened if he was not caught? Going to a meeting does not come anywhere close to risking your life in the third world or in a conflict zone. Teaching First Aid in a warm hall does not come close to helping child soldiers in Liberia. Driving nurses around in the snow does not come close to driving food aid around in minefields. If you are going to do it, do it quietly and do it well like Im sure you do, and don’t look for praise, praise will come from those you help. ICRC delegates don’t, so why should you!

  26. Anonymous7:40 AM

    Once any organisation comes under the spotlight it is inevitable that differing points of view will emerge and in particular people become very sensitive about points which may directly refer to the work they do.
    The people calling for reform of the Irish Red Cross are not criticising the voluntary service of those in the Irish Red Cross or the good work done on the ground every day.
    For all those Volunteers reading this blog, and the various comments, who may feel aggrieved or who view this call for reform as some form of attack on the good work they do, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE look at the bigger picture. There have been numerous comparisons between the Irish State and the Irish Red Cross. The comparison does not need explaining.
    There is no point in expressing anger over an apparent slight on volunteers. Those fighting for reform at the Irish Red Cross are fighting because of fundamental belief in the Red Cross Movement including voluntary service. A couple of commenters above expressed the same sentiment but I must reiterate : PLEASE PLEASE ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS AT BRANCH LEVEL. ASK WHY ARE THOSE IN POWER ACTIVELY DESTROYING THE IRISH RED CROSS. WHY ARE ALL VOLUNTEERS BEING TARNISHED WITH THE SAME BRUSH OF IMEPTITUDE INCOMPETENCE AND MORAL NEGLIGENCE DEMONSTRATED BY THOSE ON THE BOARD OF THE IRISH RED CROSS.
    Just like the majority of the Irish nation went about their lives working hard through the Celtic Tiger without any great excess and have been rewarded with crushing austerity to pay out LOSING gambles to faceless bondholders, it is the Irish Red Cross Members, Volunteers, and Staff who work tirelessly for the beliefs of the Red Cross Movement but who are being punished by sheer ineptitude at the top. DO NOT SIT BACK AND ACCEPT IT. DEMAND ANSWERS. DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY. PLEASE. SADLY IT WILL ONLY HAPPEN IF THE MEMBERS DEMAND IT.

  27. Anonymous5:44 PM

    To the previous commenter, you have not answered my question. Is my time any less valuable than the over seas delegate??

  28. Anonymous8:43 AM

    To the person who is requesting praise and acknowledgement....

    I didnt post any of the comments above but if it helps you feel better your time is no less valuable than the overseas delegate. Anyone engaged in humanitarian work regardless of its nature is a commendable person including you.

    I hope this re-assures you

  29. Anonymous1:41 AM

    Everyones time in doing any and I mean any Humanitarian work is valuable. However, in doing this work if they cause harm in anyway to others whether it is by their silence or actions, then it is they, who must eventually answer the question. Is my time any less valuable! This forum is about the harm the Irish Red Cross has done to the people whom it was supposed to serve, if when they were doing harm you were doing good, then this is not like the theory 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction'. The question you now have to answer is, what did you do to protect the integrity of the Red Cross. This is not about you ! Its about the guys who would take 162k from the victims of the Tsunami and hide it. It is about the guys who would take 600k from the people of Haiti and keep it from them. Its about the members of the Red Cross who give of themselves and are NEVER consulted as to the kind of Society they want and need. When was the last time the Irish Red Cross asked you what you thought ?

  30. Anonymous1:49 AM

    The Irish Red Cross in Ireland does not welcome debate and that is why this site exists. Branches are the servants of First Aid units and their Officers run the Society. Area Committees nor Branches report to the membership ever. The Executive Committee are appointed by the Central Council, the members of the Executive Committee are like the leaders of some less than savory countries, as long as you agree with them you are there for life. The new Governance proposals were not distributed nor discussed by the majority of the membership; in fact many members have never seen them. The new Governance proposals allow Central Council members to sit on the Committee for ever. If you hide money and get caught like Tony Lawlor did all you have to do is, nothing as you are immune from sanction. You tell the media you will appoint an independent investigator then, doesn’t. As a member of the Executive you get expenses and no one in the Society can find out what you get not even the Central Council. The Government gives the Society money every year and the Society tells the Government as little as possible how they spend it. Some selected members of staff, it is said, can get private loans, education grants and their rent paid. Members do not get private loans, well none that can be proven. The Red Cross is primarily the guardian of the Geneva conventions, but for the 30 odd years of the conflict in Ireland the IRC buried its head firmly in the sand and hid away ! The IRC are now being investigated by the Government for misuse of money, by (PAC). The Irish Red Cross have it seems 7 million worth of property, the Central Council members don't know where almost all of this property is. Donal Forde says he knows, but won't tell or provide a list to Central Council. Sounds like a banking strategy of old. Does the above sound like the Humanitarian Society of a National Red Cross?