NOTE: The Examiner newspaper carries an article in its 20th Jan 2012 edition concerning the admission in Parliament by the Irish Red Cross that its serving Vice Chairman, Tony Lawlor, was one of the signatories on an undisclosed bank account containing €160,000. The link to the article is:
NOTE 2: The Public Accounts Committee has published on public record the following letter from Noel Wardick to Irish Red Cross Chairman, David O' Callaghan:
The Irish Red Cross was subjected to nearly three hours of vigorous and robust questioning by the Dail’s (Irish Parliament) All Party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier today 19th January 2012.
The well prepared members of the Committee (all elected representatives) exposed once again the scandalous goings-on at the Society over the last number of years. PAC members looked shocked, exasperated and disgusted with many of the responses from the Irish Red Cross Secretary General, Donal Forde and the Chairman, David O’ Callaghan.
This Blog has written at length about the misgovernance and financial irregularities at the Irish Red Cross. It was of the view it could no longer be shocked by the Society’s cover ups and deceit. How wrong the Blog was.
Today in Ireland’s national parliament the Irish Red Cross told clear and blatant untruths to elected public representatives. In time and once the full transcript is available this Blog will document in detail every single one of those untruths and seek that those responsible are fully held to account for their actions.
This disgusting debacle must stop and these individuals must not be permitted any longer to make a mockery of the Irish public, of elected representatives, of genuine Irish Red Cross volunteers and staff and of our national parliament.
It is high time for the International Red Cross in Geneva (both ICRC and IFRC) to come off the sidelines and prevent any further damage to and deterioration of the credibility of the Red Cross in Ireland. The Red Cross emblem and everything it stands for is being trampled into the ground by individuals prepared to deceive and misrepresent at the highest levels. Geneva, its time to wake up and do your job: protect the Red Cross emblem before irreparable damage is done.
The 19th January 2012, a day of infamy for the Irish Red Cross.
RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) has carried the below news article on the Irish Red Cross performance:
Irish Red Cross did not disclose bank accounts
Updated: 12:42, Thursday, 19 January 2012
The Irish Red Cross, under questioning at The Public Accounts Committee, has said that one of the two signatories on a previously undisclosed bank account, valued at €160,000, was Vice Chairman of the Society nationally
He still remains the Vice Chairman.
Representatives of the charitable organisation, have confirmed that when the Head of Finance was made aware of this account and 48 other undisclosed accounts (to the value of €200,000 in total), he did not disclose the accounts to the Board of the Society.
The sitting Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Kieran O'Donnell, said it seemed extraordinary that the Head of Finance did not disclose such accounts to the Board.
Eoghan Murphy, member of the Public Accounts Committe, questioned why someone would continue in position of governance in the Society for 27 years considering there are serious questions raised, particularly by the Minister of Defence, in relation to poor governance in the Irish Red Cross.
Deputy Murphy said this "flies in the face of good governance".
His assertion was challenged by Donal Forde, newly appointed Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, claiming that the Society has completely overhauled its system of governance, and all the branches of the society will be audited for 2011.
He added that an investigation was carried out by the society and there was no malevolence found, and no misappropriation of money, but it was clear there was poor governance. He confirmed there was no disciplinary action taken.
Mr. David O'Callaghan, The Chairman of the Irish Red Cross, admitted "there was a mess", and there was bad governance. But he added this was a restricted account, no cent was moved or was missing.
He added that an investigation was put in train and changes have been made in relation to codes of conduct, auditing and governance in the Irish Red Cross.