Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Bad administration, bad governance, bad controls"-Irish Red Cross Secretary General, Donal Forde


Note: The link to the full transcript of the Public Accounts Committee hearing into the Irish Red Cross is at the bottom of this article.

Under sustained questioning from well briefed and well prepared members of the Irish parliament the Irish Red Cross Secretary General, Donal Forde, was forced to admit the Society had suffered from “bad administration, bad governance, bad controls”. His admission was given in evidence at the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Hearing into financial mismanagement and misgovernance at the Irish Red Cross on 19th January 2012.

Similarly under pressure the Irish Red Cross Chairman, David O’ Callaghan, conceded the situation around the discovery of 49 undisclosed bank accounts and the involvement of the national Vice Chairman, Anthony (Tony) Lawlor, in the largest of the undisclosed accounts was “a mess”.

The Irish Red Cross admitted that despite the scale of the crisis and the errors and wrongs committed by certain board members “no disciplinary action” was taken.

Throughout the entire proceedings it was clear for all those watching to witness the look of disbelief, exasperation and incredulity on the faces of the PAC members as the Irish Red Cross struggled to provide acceptable and credible answers.

The 19th January 2012 was a shameful day in the history of the Irish Red Cross. It was a new low for the Society to have its leaders provide a litany of untruths, inaccuracies and falsehoods on public record before the Irish Parliament.

It is the view of this Blog that those who issued these untruths should resign immediately before any further damage is done to the Society. Every attempt will be made to expose these untruths and falsehoods. They will not go unchallenged.

The position of the national Vice Chairman is completely untenable and it is clear from reading the transcripts of the PAC hearing that the Committee members feel the same. Mr Lawlor’s continued presence on the board and other committees of the Irish Red Cross continues to do irreparable damage to the Society’s image, credibility and reputation. Surely the Society will not re-appoint Mr. Lawlor for the 22nd year in a row in May 2012. To do so will bring howls of derision down on the Society. The Blog has also called on numerous occasions for the resignation of the national Treasurer whose inactions make him fully complicit in the “mess” referred to by the Chairman, David O’ Callaghan.

The Irish Red Cross should use the occasion of the special Central Council meeting scheduled for 10th March 2012 to announce the permanent departure of the Vice Chairman and Treasurer.

The Irish Red Cross no doubt believed the PAC hearing on 19th January 2012 would draw a line under the sand of recent controversies, mismanagement, misgovernance and financial irregularities. Because of the depth and extent of the untruths and misrepresentation of facts told at the hearing the Society has plunged itself into a whole new crisis. Not only does this risk entangling senior individuals from the previous leadership who have since resigned but it also embroils the new leadership.

Once again the crisis and reputational damage facing the Society is entirely self inflicted. If the values of integrity, honesty, openness, transparency, justice and courage prevailed all this could have been completely avoided. Unfortunately, that is not the Irish Red Cross way.

The Blog intends to go through in minute detail the transcripts from the hearing. It will formally respond to the Department of Defence and the Public Accounts Committee. In doing so the Blog will outline all untruths and falsehoods so that the truth is formally recorded and available to the public. It is essential the Irish Red Cross is held fully accountable for their actions. Every attempt will be made to do so.

The link to the full official transcript of the hearing is:

http://debates.oireachtas.ie/ACC/2012/01/19/00004.asp

Peace if possible, truth at all costs-Martin Luther King

28 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:22 PM

    The Irish Red Cross is one of the finest points of interest to anyone who is doing research either in Human Rights or Corporate Governance. One might expect both to be apparent in such an organisation, however they are a million miles away from coming near to good Governance. The Vice Chairman and Donal Forde used the word democratic several times. What is democratic about and organisation that would produce governance guidleines and refuse to allow its memebrship to see them until after they are voted in.

    The truth is that when you are earning 95k a year you couldn't give a toss what anyone thinks. When you have a 4x 4 to run around in like a cock pheasant you can end up beleiveing your own bull.

    Tony Lawlor is under no illusion that he is so important to the Red Cross the Society would close without him. Most dictators feel this way !

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  2. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Dear Blogger,

    Having watched the Red Cross being interviewed by the members of the Dail, I thought this was some sort of a old boys meeting. We will ask you the questions and you can give us the answers which will make sense to the public.
    I listened to an organisation saying their Vice Chairman has been relected year on year for 21 years and then he got caught red handed with 162 thousand euro in a secret bank account, and despite knowing about it the financial director didn't tell anyone.
    The Red Cross then investigated themselves and they found the vice Chairman innocent of hiding money, even though he did. Then to add to this they put him on a committee to bring in new financial and governance rules. (I am getting even more angry as i write !)

    Then they bring out rules which mean this guy and his combrades can technically stay on the Red Cross Governing body for life, and serve as Vice Chairman for another 6 years. Is this the picture of a trustworthy organisation.

    Is it any wonder this Country is broke, when they put a failed banker in charge of a failed humanitarian organisation. Typical ! They will not be able to hide my donations.

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  3. Anonymous1:52 AM

    I have only recently discovered how abscurely secretative the Irish Red Cross is. They don't publish who their members are. If you want to contact anyone, you have to go through their Head Office as they don't publish contact details on their web site. Few of their Governing body the Central Council know who the other members are, as they are not supplied with this information. The Red Cross is definitely unique and the more I read on this Blog the more interesting this secretive, closed, non transparent organisation becomes. What kind of organisation inhibits contact? They say they have 5000 members, but no one knows who they are. I remember another organisation whose structure was also based on the cell system and contact between members kept to an absolute minimum.

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  4. Anonymous3:30 AM

    In light of what happened at the Dail last week and the extent of the untruths told by Irish Red Cross and the attempt to protect certain individuals is it not finally time to formally go to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation?

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  5. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Gardai and Fraud, oh dear, Fianna Fail will not like that. Maybe that is why their absense at the PAC was so obvious. One cannot have a Fainna Fail Td asking questions of a Fianna Fail supporter.

    The Gardai are perhaps busy enough with that party at the moment!

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  6. Anonymous1:54 AM

    Dear Blogger,

    This is truly a remarkable blog. You and those who support you have 100% controlled and dictated the agenda at the Irish Red Cross. Despite their (Irish Red Cross) disgraceful untruths in the Dail last week this blog and the actions of others who support you have forced the Irish Red Cross kicking and screaming to at least bring in some reform. None of this would have happened without you guys. Dont worry that Tony Lawlor is still in power. You have exposed him for what he is and despite what you may think his power and influence has been shattered by 6 years of determined campaigning by Wardick and others. People are no longer afraid of him, I know this from the branches where the attitude is 'who the hell does this guy think he is' and 'when for gods sake is he going to go'. Most of the old boys have left the scene as their empire was taken away from them by sustained effort and campaigning such as Des Kavanagh and Dominic Burke. Yes Lawlor, Noonan, etc have also served painfully long periods in office but this blog has forced them to sit by silently while the Society is investigated from top to bottom and exposed for what it is. For the first time in 20 years they have not been able to control events and they have not been able to stop you. This I can assure you keeps them awake at night and drives them insane with anger so well done on that score alone. If ever there was a history on the Irish Red Cross this blog and those who support it would be seen as having the most dramatic impact on the Society it is 71 year history. Your biggest achievement is protecting the Society from total oblivion by these guys and by shining a light on the disgraceful scandals and by keeping that light shining on the Society it means these people can never fully take over and therefore it means the Irish Red Cross always has a chance of escaping from their damaging and incompetent clutches.

    Keep up the great work, you have run rings around these incompetents and exposed them for what they are. You should be proud of your success and even though you were fired and dont work there any more you still control and set the agenda, especially when it comes to forcing these guys to reform. Well done again, your campaign would make an excellent case study for students and practicioners of Advocacy and Campaigning.

    Its amazing that someone like you so disliked by the people you have exposed and whose power you have dismantled still controls and dictates so much of what happens at the Irish Red Cross. That is bloody very impressive I must say! Keep it up blogger and your supporters.

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  7. Anonymous7:01 AM

    "Audi alteram partem"

    In September 210 I contacted the Area Chairperson and the Central Council representative in Donegal about the financial irregularities within the Irish Red Cross. This is not the first time I brought this matter to the attention of the Society. I did it back in the period 1988/99. Des Kavanagh the National Treasurer of the time, was so disgusted by my correspondences, he on behalf of the Executive threatened me with legal action. That’s as far as that went, as the Executive stood down the “overseas committee”, pending an investigation that would never happen (sound familiar).

    Anyway, after contacting the Area Secretary I attended the Area meeting in Feb. 2011 and after 35 minutes sitting waiting, I was asked to leave by the chairperson. I was invited to be humiliated.

    I was asked to attend an Area meeting in May 2011 and a letter was read, which was from the vice Chairman Tony Lawlor. It stated under rule 32 of the regulations I was correctly kicked out of the meeting. I disputed this letter and asked to see the letter (no chance). rule 32 was used in high court case brought by Jim Walsh. Red Cross lost.

    I have written since to the Secretary General who stated in an email “ let me be clear that you were properly expelled from a meeting of the Irish Red Cross”.

    I have been denied any right of a hearing, and the principal of “natural justice”, has been denied to me. I have been denied the right to common justice protected by the constitution. “Not only should justice be done, but should be seen to be done”. I have written, to the Chairman of the Irish Red cross and to date no response has been forthcoming. They hide behind walls of silence.

    I have exposed the tyranny of the Executive before, at that time Tony Lawlor confronted me with a disciplinary hearing, his report to the Executive was a fabrication of blatant lies. I have asked him directly to resign many times; he has nothing but contempt for the Red Cross and all who serve in it. He is not alone; all long serving members should go. Bring in the real professionals. Noel Wardick is right and he has been totally vindicated as are many others.

    I await a fair and proper hearing, and an apology for my illegal expulsion as a member of the Red Cross from a Red Cross meeting.

    I also would like to note one comment that was used the night of my expulsion, by a long standing Red Cross member. “We cannot, have every Tom, Dick and Harry attending Red Cross meetings”. The “we” is the real inhumanity which is practiced widely in the Red Cross.

    Gerard Moyne
    Life Member

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  8. Anonymous10:10 AM

    I have always been, and continue to be, a firm believer in the principles of the Red Cross Movement. Both the IFRC and ICRC are organisations that represent the best of humanitarian ideals. Numerous national Red Cross Societies actively feed into these organisations in immensely positive ways by various means. The Irish Red Cross included. What numerous national societies also do is uphold the principles of the Red Cross and conduct their organisations within their own nations to the highest levels of transparency, accountability and with respect for donors, members and staff. This DOES NOT include the Irish Red Cross.
    I watched the Irish Red Cross representatives respond to questions posed by the PAC. I could never have expected to find almost 3 hours of Public Accounts Committee proceedings absolutely spell binding. It was 3 hours of absolutely disgraceful behaviour by the Irish Red Cross. The only relief from my disgust was the almost comical looks of disbelief and gasps of exasperation from the questioners. They genuinely appeared shocked by the Irish Red Cross. My blood boils as I type this and I could go on and on listing out the untruths, inaccuracies and downright disgraceful comments and behaviour demonstrated by each of the three speakers from the Irish Red Cross. However I will leave that analysis to the Blogger who has without fail continued to report on the Irish Red Cross disaster with honesty, facts, a demonstration of a true understanding in Red Cross principles and clearly a true belief in type of organisation the Irish Red Cross can really be.
    Two separate but significant matters that occurred recently that give me hope that this country is slowly, slowly, slowly changing:

    1. A former Fianna Fail TD is arrested over apparently fraudenlent expense claims. This was in relation to 4 phones, significantly less than €160,000.
    2. A whistleblower who highlighted despicable behaviour in a HSE facility had her contract reinstated after it was terminated coincidently following her public uncovering of mis-treatment of patients.

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  9. Anonymous1:59 AM

    Dear Mr. Gerard Moyne,
    I am deeply supportive of this blog and what it has done and is still trying to do,I have read every comment you have made on this blog as well as on other sites/forums, I understand that you were treated improperly, you claim to have documented evidence that will expose the ongoing mismanagement/corruption within Irish Red Cross yet you have yet to do anything with it, do you not think that the time has now come to do so? There is no point continually saying that you have proof without presenting it, it is time for you to act instead of popping up and continually repeating yourself every time Mr. Wardick makes some headway against the decay within Irish Red Cross. Actions speak louder than words so now is your time to act.

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  10. Anonymous11:13 AM

    To the person above.

    I look forward to the opportunity !

    I recently asked that I might address the Central Council an offer which was refused by Mr O Callaghan.

    Perhaps you might suggest a forum which would have effect other than this Blog. You will find that Irish Red Cross members do not have a right of reply or a right to dialogue. Perhaps you might offer me assistance with this challenge. I look forward to hearing from you directly. Actions speak louder than words, I saw no one apart from Mary Cullivan protest outside the last three Central Council meetings.

    I have written letters to every single CC member with only four responses. So has Noel Wardick and others. I am sure all the CC members brought these and the leters sent by Transparency International the Minister of Defence to their Areas for response.

    Action speaks louder than words, I look forward to your company at the next CC meeting in March or before. Will you demand that Tony Lawlor gives account for his letter to Dongal Area to remove me from an Area meeting? Will you demand that the Society is held accountable for a breach of the constitution? Will you demand that Noel Wardick is re instated as per proper justice. I have !

    You probably will just read the blog !

    Gerard Moyne
    Life Member Irish Red Cross

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  11. Anonymous12:32 PM

    This blog is I believe a forum for open discussion, not for any personal issues that I have now or in the past with the Red Cross. I write to expose the truth of the continued incompetance by individuals who strive to act against the Irish Red Cross Society.

    I firmly beleive the Executive Committee should be replaced by young versatile competant members of the Red Cross, who will open the organisation up, not keep it as it is, a closed shop.

    Gerard Moyne
    Life Member Irish Red Cross

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  12. Anonymous12:51 AM

    To the person who wrote to Mr Moyne,

    If you have as you say, read all that he has written on this Blog and other forums. Why have you not taken action? Why has your deep support of this Blog not stretched to you taking action.

    I have seen Mr Moyne taking action and have read of the retaliation over the years that the Red Cross hierarchy have used against him and others. Why have you not asked why many hundreds of thousands of euro donated to the Red Cross have gone in fattening solicitors? One can only presume you have read all that Noel Wardick and others have written and presumably your interest has stretched to the performance on the 19th in the Dail (satire at it's best).

    The proof you ask for, is well stated within this Blog. Act yourself and stop looking for others to make heroes of themselves. Make the call yourself, open your own mouth.

    As far as I can see most members of the Irish Red Cross are like lemmings, the only difference is that Red Cross members really would jump over a cliff.

    Fair play to Mr Moyne for at least having the courage to speak out and having the integrity to defend the Red Cross against Tony Lawlor, Sheila Callan, Noonan, Horwell and Murphy to name but a few. The Red Cross does not advertise who is on the Executive Committee.

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  13. Anonymous1:19 AM

    How many memebrs of the Central Council are members of the Red Cross?

    The regulations state that to be a member of the Central Council you have to be a member of the Red Cross.

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  14. Anonymous5:30 AM

    Mr. Moyne has protested at the last 3 Central Council meetings and has drove down from Donegal to do so. He is very active in trying to reform the Irish Red Cross. He was thrown out of a Donegal Area Irish RC meeting because he wants action and he wants branch and area members to take their heads out the the sand. He has a long record of contributing very positively to the Irish Red Cross and has stood fearlessy up against the likes of Des Kavanagh and Tony Lawlor. They fear Moyne just like they fear Wardick. The primary reason they fear Wardick and Moyne is becasue Lawlor, Kavanagh, O' Callaghan etc know that Wardick and Moyne dont fear them one little bit. And without fear the ruling elite cant rule.

    Mr.Moyne is actively engaged in International Humanitarian Law within the Irish Red Cross and has been a leading proponent of the Irish Red Cross carrying out its IHL mandate.

    Mr Moyne's sin, just like Wardick, is he tells the truth, he is courageous and he refuses to be intimidated. Like Wardick he insists on organisational accountability and it appears like Wardick he just wont give up until the Irish Red Cross is once again back in safe hands.

    Mr. Moyne is open and honest, what you see is what you get. As such he stands out as being different within the Irish Red Cross.

    More Moynes and more Wardicks and once and for all the Irish Red Cross might put this nightmare in the past.

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  15. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Compare Wardick and Moyne to Lawlor/Forde/O'Callaghan?? Polar opposites is the best one can say I suppose. One group is brave, transparent and bring credit to the Irish Red Cross and what it stands for. The other group isnt and doesnt.

    Between the Tipperary bank account scandal and the sickening performance by the Irish Red Cross in the Dail on 19th January when blatant untruths were told the words brave, transparent and credit simply dont apply.

    Word on the ground is that the general feeling after 19th January performance in the Dail is that Irish Red Cross representatives disgraced themselves and a view exists that they represent all that has been shown to be rotten about this country. As with the previous Fianna Fail government who were equally incompetent the Irish Red Cross representatives are delusional and probably even believe they did a good job fooling the TDs on the 19th. Like with Fianna Fail before their obliteration no-one else believes them however and like Fianna Fail they cant actually see that. They fooled no-one apart from themselves. Remember this is the same organisation that thought it performed well on RTE's Prime Time when in fact it was one of the most god awful cringe worthy embarrassing performances ever seen on Prime Time.

    Irish Red Cross is sadly a 3rd rate organisation rapidly losing more and more money and will remain so until the current leaders are, like Fianna Fail were, dispatched to oblivion.

    The really sad thing is the Irish Red Cross leaders are happy to stay in the 3rd division so long as that means they stay in power. They know only too well they would never survive or be tolerated in the premiership. Big fish in a tiny murky muddy rapidly draining pond!

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  16. Anonymous12:50 PM

    A recent gathering of NGO's at the Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Haiti last week did not include the Irish Red Cross.

    As part of Haiti Week, representatives from Haven; Plan Ireland; Concern Worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; Goal; Soul of Haiti; UNICEF; and Oxfam will address the Committee. Ronan already disgraced the Irish Red Cross at the PAC, so there was no way he was getting a second bite at the cherry.

    Would it be because Ronan who smirked his way through trying to justify how it was so right for him, in what he described as jargon... to retain 600k, the money that everyone and their dog knew should have been handed over to the people of Haiti.

    Ronan the Irish people know jargon and whilst you can try to bull shit your way, we know exactly where the mony should have gone and you can use what every translation of "wrong" you want.

    The people of Haiti are 600k worse off, and a solicitor in Dublin is 145k better off! balance that one in your CV.

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  17. Anonymous6:29 AM

    A few weeks after the Haiti earthquake, in early 2010, Noel Wardick made an excellent presentation on behalf of the Irish Red Cross to the Dail's Foreign Affairs Committee covering the global Red Cross response in Haiti. He did so along with Haven and Concern. His presentation was commended at the time as was his response to the Committee's numerous and detailed questions. His presentation and the Q&A is on public record.

    How far the Irish Red Cross has sunk since then. Now they tell barefaced untruths at the parliamentary committee hearings which they are 'summoned' to attend and hearings they should be at they dont even get invited. The other NGOs who attended the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Haiti recently would be very embarrassed and ashamed to have a disgraced organisation like the Irish Red Cross attend with them and sully the whole affair. Hence Irish Red Cross was not invited.

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  18. Bob Storey11:51 AM

    Any other organisation which claims to be volunteer reliant would have long since directly addressed the contentious issues of common concern and which are well documented in these series of blogs.

    Any person sourcing information on the Irish Red Cross through internet search engine will have these blogs listed ahead of the Irish Red Cross official website. There will be few who continue their search beyond the well documented unresolved problems of the IRC as outline in these blogs.

    It gives no satisfaction those who would otherwise support relief and development that these blogs are so damaging to the reputation of the IRC in particular and to the Dóchas umbrella group of NGOs involved in the sector in general.
    Mud does not just stick but spreads and it is no surprise that there is growing opposition to Irish government aid to NGOs and agencies such as the IRC and GOAL which offer poor transparency and accountability to government and the hard pressed taxpayer.
    Because some of those most concerned with contributing to the betterment of Irish Red Cross are excluded from IRC meetings, it is important that a public and neutral forum is organised to address these concerns in a proper way. It would be understood the Mr Warwick’s unfair dismissal case would be outside the meeting agenda as it is to run its course legally.

    The IRC website and the PAC meetings have skirted round the problems and left matters unresolved.

    It is surely high time that IRC, with International Federation of Red Cross / Crescent support, developed a strategy to overcome the current lead blanket of criticism and to seek a means of communicating which genuinely sets out to more directly address these widespread and legitimately held views.

    The IRC Head of Communications & Fundraising (Ronan Ryan) at one time on this blog responded that the proposal for such meetings would be considered. He will surely realise that this is now urgent.

    The challenge to IRC remains - hold one or more public meetings so that proper honest discussion can be held and that some resolution can be found which can set out a course for survival and better future for Irish Red Cross.

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  19. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Mr Moyne and Co.,

    I am only a follower of this blog and not a member of Irish Red Cross, and as I understand it only the members have the authority to rid Irish Red Cross of the rot that has set in, I don't doubt you Mr. Moyne but if you have documented evidence you should produce it as you said you would "when the time is right" surely that time is now or maybe it has passed???

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  20. Anonymous6:53 AM

    The time never passes on justice, it is like any fruit it needs to be ripe.

    There are a few opportunities in the coming weeks when we shall see how really sorry the Irish Red Cross is.

    Gerard Moyne
    Life Member Irish Red Cross

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  21. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Irish Red Cross is to speak at the upcoming Fundraising Ireland Forum under the title:

    "How the Irish Red Cross learned to say sorry".

    The information on the Forum informs those attending from all over Ireland about the Irish Red Cross exposure on RTE's Prime Time and the discovery of the Tipperary hidden bank account. Ronan Ryan, the guy who rambled on and on during the Dail and still denies that Irish Red Cross used €600,000 of Haiti money domestically in Ireland, will give the presentation. I wonder what he will say about not removing the Society's Vice Chairman who was caught with the secret bank account? How will Ronan address the failure of the IRC governance to investigate the Tipp bank account until they were forced to two years after its discovery. Will he talk about the untruths and false information given by the Irish RC in the Dail on the 19th January. Or will he continue in the vain of his bosses and tell even more untruths?

    The Forum is in Dublin on 8th Feb. The link to it is below:

    http://www.fundraisingireland.ie/whats-new/events/donor-care-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/

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  22. Anonymous11:18 AM

    I have looked at the Fundraising Ireland website on the link provided in the comment above. I didnt believe the comment above as I couldnt believe the Irish Red Cross was going to speak at a high level forum and present on the topic "How the Irish Red Cross learned to say sorry".

    Having checked the site its true and I feel sick, really very sick.

    On 19th January I watched Ronan Ryan spoof his way through questions from TDs in the Dail and I watched Forde tell blatant untruths. Now I learn Irish Red Cross is going to speak at a forum about how it learned to say its sorry. I dread to think what Ryan will say at this. If there is any positives he has indicated in the advertisement he will speak about Tony Lawlor's hidden Tipperary tsunami bank account and Irish Red Cross's dismal performance on RTE's Prime Time. I see Ryan has referenced Noel Wardick's dismissal as well in the Forum's advertisement. Thats a legal case as far as I know from this blog so Ronan had better be careful what he says there as he could land Irish Red Cross in a whole lot more trouble. Wardick has alot of friends and colleagues in the sector who will surely be reporting everything back to him. If I was Wardick I'd attend and keep a very close eye on Ryan.

    Please Ronan stop your nonsense and your embarassing propaganda. Irish Red Cross has not apologised and what it needs to do is return the hundreds of thousands of Euros to where it was taken from (e.g Haiti), then issue a public apology through the national media. Then Tony Lawlor needs to apologise for keeping tsunami money hidden from head office. Then Ted Noonan, Treasurer, needs to apologise for doing nothing to investigate and remove Lawlor. Then the Executive Committee needs to apologise for condoning keeping secret bank accounts and by being complicit in the murky dysfunction of Irish Red Cross. Then and only then will we begin to put the past behind us. And Ronan dont forget Irish Red Cross still has to apologise to Noel Wardick for sacking him because he exposed the lot of you and told the truth. Until all that is done stop this charade, this debacle.

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  23. Anonymous2:05 AM

    I am really looking forward to the event on the 8th Feb in Dublin. Like the performance on the 19th of January I am sure Ronan will nod his head with the delight he harbours, he will no doubt waffle his way around the facts using pure fiction. All our kids know this Ronan, when it isn’t yours you can dress the excuse up as much as you like, but it still isn't yours, using whatever words you like. The IRC took the money all 600k of it. Any rubbish you can come out with to suggest it should be retained to ensure that 4 x 4’s can be used in Ireland doesn’t really wash. The PAC were less than impressed with the pure untruths and inaccuracies told and now you await the chance to probably repeat it all again. But of course you already know the truth, but you are willing to continue with these pitiful excuses and explanations, for reasons best known to yourself. I guess your speech will include we are just so sorry that our Vice Chairman of the Society got caught hiding 162k of money belonging to the victims of the Tsunami. To show how sorry we are, in true democratic spirit we the Irish Red Cross ignored an appeal from the Minister to address the issue of long serving board members such as the Vice Chairman and the Treasurer and we have brought in new governance proposals to ensure he can remain in his position for another six years minimum. So what if he has been there 27 years it’s a democratic organisation after all. Better still if he really wishes, he can remain on the Governing body, till he dies or whatever ever is best for him. It is only the sub committee (known as the Executive Committee) of the Governing body that has to stand down after 6 years and only if no-one else goes forward as members of the Central Council can serve for life. Cute whore politics and everyone sees through it

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  24. Anonymous3:18 AM

    I heard on the grapevine that pressure is really building on Donal Forde, Irish Red Cross Secretary General, over his evidence at the Dail investigation hearing on the 19th January 2012. Rumour has it that some senior former board members and at least one secretary general are going to be sucked into the whole sordid affair. It looks like this is going to run and run.

    I see SIPTU has referred that slush bank account they discovered (the one they had in partnership with the HSE for training) to the Garda Fraud Bureau of Investigation. If Irish Red Cross had any sense they would do the same with the Tipperary Bank Account because after their Dail attempt to cover up who knew what and when real questions need to be asked, not least why certain people are being protected.

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  25. Anonymous12:01 PM

    It must be time that office bearers, members or staff of Tipperary Red Cross Branch came out to explain their part in the cover up of money collected by them from their good county donors which ended up stashed away in a forgotten secret bank account.

    Surely the branch staff or members involved know that one day they will be called to account and their integrity questioned. The fear of the Merrion Square HQ will not be an excuse for this wall of silence just as the feeble HQ attempts at finding an innocent explanation for the forgotten tsunami money will not deflect the inevitable accountability to come.

    It is unlikely, even for Irish Red Cross, that Branch staff, office bearers or volunteers did not know what had been done with the money so kindly given into their charge by the people of Tipperary. Some members or staff will know who the signatories for that tsunami account were and they should be exposed. Some members or staff will know why and when money was removed from the hidden tsunami account and why and when it was subsequently replaced.

    Do members of Tipperary Branch not realise how their silence is in itself damming; who can trust a Branch that has such poor transparency and accountability?

    The affair reflects badly on the integrity of all branch members involved.

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  26. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Irish Aid appear to have started doing audits of public money given to NGOs. They have found some fraud with GOAL accounts for their Malawi operation and have voiced conern about the lack of; board meetings terms of reference, agendas and technical competence.
    Perhaps Irish Aid has taken action in response to the criticisms levied against it for the lack of monitoring and audit for the tsunami relief and recovery operations funded to the tune of £20 million.
    The EU is also now proposing auditing NGO programmes funded by it.
    Surely Irish Red Cross will realise that the public and private donors are becoming more demanding in standards of transparency and accountability and that the way they currently operate will not be tolerated much longer.
    GOAL have been criticised for not having a separate audit committee, a separate salary and renumeration committee and generals technical competence - does IRC have such checks and balances?

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  27. Anonymous3:05 PM

    So the representatives of the Red Cross did not exactly tell the truth at the PAC, what happens next?

    This is the second time for Donal Forde, what will the Central Council of the Red Cross do to their new boy, will they slap him on the back of the hand, or was he employed for his past appearances at the PAC on behalf of AIB.

    Will we ever get to find out. This is btter than desperate housewives.

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  28. Anonymous5:02 AM

    Time for more direct action to get changes in Irish Red Cross perhaps.

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