Sunday, March 11, 2012

Parliamentary Committee to request an independent investigation into Irish Red Cross


The Irish Red Cross was once again high on the agenda of the national parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting of 8th March 2012.

Concerns around the reliability and veracity of Irish Red Cross evidence given before the PAC at a hearing on the 19th January 2012 have increased significantly since the Irish Red Cross was formally challenged by a number of people who subsequently wrote to the PAC. As a direct result the Irish Red Cross was forced to write to the PAC on 14th February 2012 and admit sections of their evidence were inaccurate and that on at least one substantive issue they were not prepared, were unfamiliar with the topic and were not in a position to give definitive evidence, this despite failing to make this known at the original hearing of 19th January. On the 8th March 2012 the PAC Chairman, Deputy John Mc Guinness, stated in no uncertain terms:

The Committee has received a considerable volume of correspondence on the Red Cross, particularly since our meeting of 19th January. We need to review this correspondence because, among other issues raised, the Committee may have been misled (by Irish Red Cross)”

The PAC Chairman then went on to raise the necessity of a third party intervention and an independent investigation into the Irish Red Cross

However our examination of the issue has thrown up more questions than answers and, rather than having another wave of correspondence on the various issues raised, it behoves the Department of Defence and Minister for Defence to arrange for a third party to review the evidence and establish definitively in respect of areas that are in dispute. Until we get independent assurances there is no way we will be able to sign off on the Red Cross examination

The PAC Chairman is to be commended for the above statement as well as his unwillingness to sign off on the Irish Red Cross issue until he is fully satisfied that the full truth and nothing but the truth has been told. It is also a serious rebuke to Donal Forde, Irish Red Cross Secretary General, who in his letter of apology to the PAC had questioned the point of an “ongoing exchange” on such matters.

In addition to discussing the possibility of requesting an independent investigation the PAC is considering asking a number of people, such as Noel Wardick, former Head of International at the Society, to appear before it. This would give individuals such as Mr. Wardick the opportunity to explain in person what really happened at the Irish Red Cross and why much of the Irish Red Cross evidence on 19th January was inaccurate.

The Chairman concluded the Irish Red Cross discussion with the following remarks:

To be clear on what we are proposing, we will ask the clerk to examine the correspondence to determine who might be invited before us. When that process is brought to a conclusion we will refer the hearings to the Accounting Officer with the suggestion that he have the matter independently investigated. Is that Agreed? Agreed.”

This Blog has continually advocated for and put forward the view that an independent investigation into the Irish Red Cross is the only way the truth would out and the only way to ensure those responsible for wrongs are held to account. Time will tell if an independent investigation eventually takes place but the PAC hearing of the 8th March 2012 has brought us one step closer.

The Public Accounts Committee also published on the Oireachtas website the detailed and comprehensive response written by Noel Wardick to the Irish Red Cross evidence given at the 19th January PAC hearing. It can be found at:

http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/pac/correspondence/2012-meeting310803/[PAC-R-327]Correspondence-3.1.pdf

Noel Wardick’s response to Donal Forde’s apology letter to the PAC was also published by PAC and can be found at:

http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/pac/correspondence/2012-meeting310803/[PAC-R-345]Correspondence-3.19.pdf

The full transcript of the 8th March 2012 PAC meeting as it relates to the Irish Red Cross is below:

Business of Committee

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Committee of Public Accounts Debate

First Page Previous Page Page of 4 Next Page Last Page


Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness The first item is the minutes of the meeting of 23 February 2012. Are the minutes agreed? Agreed. Most matters arising from the minutes will be dealt with during the course of our agenda.

The next item on the agenda is correspondence received since our last meeting. No. 3.1 is correspondence dated 22 and 25 February 2012 from Mr. Noel Wardick, former head of the international department of the Irish Red Cross. Some members will be interested in this matter. The committee has received a considerable volume of correspondence on the Red Cross, particularly since our meeting of 19 January. We need to review this correspondence because, among other issues raised, the committee may have been misled. We are in a difficult position in that the Red Cross is not accountable to this committee. However, our examination of the issue has thrown up more questions than answers and, rather than having another wave of correspondence on the various issues raised, it behoves the Department of Defence and the Minister for Defence to arrange for a third party to review the evidence and establish definitively the position in respect of areas that are in dispute. Until we get independent assurances there is no way we will be able to sign off on the Red Cross examination.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy We have several items of correspondence that contradicted the evidence presented to us. As the Chairman noted, the Red Cross is not directly accountable to the committee. Is he proposing that we conduct an investigation into the evidence we were given?

Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness We have a number of options. We can conduct an investigation and ask the Department to examine the Red Cross. The other option is to give Mr. Wardick and others the opportunity to appear before the committee.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy We have received correspondence relating to the Charities Act 2009. When witnesses from the Department appeared before us previously to discuss the Red Cross, they indicated that the Act would solve many of the problems arising in the charity sector. However, the aforementioned correspondence indicates that the implementation of the Act will not be proceeding in the near future. I do not know how it will benefit us to bring the Red Cross before us again, unless it is just to give its representatives an opportunity to tell the same story. Would it be preferable to ask the Department to investigate the issue properly? I am concerned, however, that it may take the same hands-off approach it followed previously.

Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness We continue to receive a volume of correspondence which gives rise to further questions. We need to bring the matter to a conclusion. We can do so either by asking the Accounting Officer to conclude matters by way of an independent investigation or we can hear evidence from Mr. Wardick and others before reaching our own conclusions. I do not know if the Comptroller and Auditor General can play a role in assisting our efforts to bring the matter to a conclusion but we have to make a decision because otherwise the correspondence will continue to arrive, the accusations will continue to be made and we will not have concluded our work.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I suspect the Department will continue to take a hands-off approach in terms of investigations. I got the impression that if Ireland tried to set a precedent it would have a negative effect in terms of other countries attempting to interfere with their own Red Cross societies. If the committee proposes to invite the Red Cross to appear again I would support the proposal.

Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness What does Deputy Eoghan Murphy suggest in regard to Mr. Wardick and others?

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Would we give them an opportunity to state their case?

Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness We could say that we are finalising matters by allowing them to state their case.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I imagine others besides Mr. Wardick who have written to the committee and its members would also like to meet us. I do not know if the committee has previously facilitated such meetings.

Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness I will ask the clerk to examine the correspondence to determine whether it is worthwhile to invite them before us to examine the issues they have raised before referring the hearings to the Accounting Officer as part of a request that the matter be formally investigated by an independent figure. We could possibly bring the matter to a conclusion by these means.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Yes.

Chairman: Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness To be clear on what we are proposing, we will ask the clerk to examine the correspondence to determine who might be invited before us. When that process is brought to a conclusion we will refer the hearings to the Accounting Officer with the suggestion that he have the matter independently investigated. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong-Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

30 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Today's (9th March 2012) Irish Times, in its Business Section (Page 5) has a damning article on the senior managers who wrecked and ruined AIB. Irish Red Cross Secretary General, Donal Forde, is photographed in the article as he was the former AIB Head of Republic of Ireland Division. The article outlines the litany of shocking incompetence that brought the bank to its knees and cost the Irish taxpayer billions. Earlier this week the bank announced 2,500 job losses.

    In relation to Donal Forde the article by Simon Carswell states:

    "The biggest losses at AIB were in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) Division run by Donal Forde from 2002 to 2009. Forde was made an AIB director in 2007, left when Colm Donerty, former head of capital markets took charge of AIB in 2009. About 2005, Doherty, a board member at AIB, had raised concerns that big loans were being approved in the retail bank and felt that his own capital markets division, which processed big business loans, was better equipped to approve them"

    Once Doherty took over at AIB Donal Forde 'left' AIB.

    Given that Forde recently had to apologise to the Dail Public Accounts Committee for giving inaccurate information to the Hearing on the 19th January today's Irish Times article is more bad publicity for him and by extension for the Irish Red Cross.

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  2. Anonymous1:06 AM

    On 19th January 2012 Irish Red Cross was shamefully dragged before the Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as part of an investigation into financial irregularities and misuse of donor money at the Society

    On 14th February 2012 the Irish Red Cross had to write a letter of apology to the PAC admitting it gave wrong evidence at the 19th Jan hearing. Once again Irish Red Cross had been caught when it thought it would get away with something.

    On 8th March 2012 the Public Accounts Committee discussed the possibility that it had been misled by the Irish Red Cross. The PAC stated it would consider instructing the Department of Defence to seek an independent third party in order to independently investigate the Society.

    On 10th March 2012 the governing board of the Irish Red Cross, the Central Council, met in Dublin. At no stage during this meeting did the board members discuss the Dail Public Accounts Committee hearing. At no stage did the Chairman, David O' Callaghan or the Secretary General, Donal Forde, update board members about the PAC and/or explain why they gave inaccurate information, explain why the Society was forced to apologise or discuss the fact that the Society may be independently investigated by a third party.

    The fact that not one Central Council member felt it necessary to raise this matter brings the meaning of group think and herd mentality to a whole new level.

    The fact that Forde or O'Callaghan didnt have the courtesy to verbally update the board on the day demonstrates for all to see that nothing has changed at the Society. It remains a dark, closed, secret, non transparent and unaccountable entity.

    One can only hope that the newly appointed Nominations Committee will nominate a number of truly capable external candidates for the post of Irish Red Cross Chairman which falls vacant in April and for which the Central Council will vote on. Based on the silence and inaction of the Central Council to date though all the nominations committee has to do is nominate one person (they should of course nominate at least two or three) and the herd will silently agree with what is put in front of them.

    So the Irish Red Cross governing board does not even discuss or mention the fact that its about to be investigated because it potentially misled the Dail. And they try to tell us things have changed....!!!

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  3. Anonymous2:24 PM

    They are all wafflers ! FF Wafflers !

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  4. Anonymous1:00 AM

    The inability or unwillingness of the new Secretary General Donal Forde to inform the Central Council last Saturday that he and the Chairman got caught giving incorrect information to the Public Accounts Committee, says it all ! Is this the 'reformed' Red Cross we're talking about?

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  5. Anonymous6:22 AM

    Where is Lawlor in all this mees why is he being allowed to hide behind O Callaghan and Forde. Why is Ted Noonan not being asked to account for himself in all this mess. What about the other members of the Executive.

    The PAC should have everyone of them in to give evidence, the cracks would soon show then in this mire of deceipt.

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  6. Anonymous1:25 AM

    Congratulations to this Blog! So an independent investigation into the Irish Red Cross is just a stone's throw away as the Public Accounts Committee has decided an independent investigation is necessary.

    Well done to Noel Wardick and others who have long called for an independent investigation and when he originally called for it Irish Red Cross disgracefully fired Mr. Wardick.

    It just shows how bad things are at the Irish Red Cross when the PAC has decided its just too murky for them to get to the bottom of things and an independent investigation is necessary. They are also furious at being possibly misled by the the Irish Red Cross.

    Lets hope an independent investigation is detailed and comprehensive. Key will be to ensure a person of true calibre, competence and independence is chosen. The worry here is that the Department of Defence cant be trusted to hire such a person as they have nearly as much to hide as the Irish Red Cross. Still though its a great achievement by this blog and all involved with it. There will be a number of Irish Red Cross board members and ex board members getting very nervous thats for sure.

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  7. Anonymous6:56 AM

    Will Declan O Sullivan the man who found the money in Tipperary be asked to confirm that the evidence given by Forde and O Callaghan as to O Sullivans failures to inform the baord is eithr true or not. Will O Sullivan please confirm that they have tried to set him up. Is he innocent of any wrong doing ? Was it O Sullivan or O Callaghan that set up the investigation? O Callaghan gave evidence to the PAC that it was him. Will we see his evidence shown for what it is reall worth ?

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  8. Anonymous11:14 AM

    So the Irish Red Cross has finally decided to move forward with the new voluntary post of National Director of Units (NDU). Our branch secretary recently got all the details, applications forms etc. Please please can a number of suitably qualified people apply as everyone and their granny knows this post has been created for the national vice chairman, Tony Lawlor. The whole point was that when he was eventually forced to step down from his Vice Chairman role he would get the NDU post which would entitle him to sit on Central Council as the NDU will automatically be a member and from where he would remain on Executive Committee as the compliant CC always do what they are told and put him on the Executive. Is there any bookie in Ireland that would give any odds on Lawlor getting this post?? Its not an interview process it is a coronation! Its an absolute certainty Mr. Lawlor will get the post. I will eat my hat if someone other than Tony Lawlor gets this post. This plan has been in the pipeline for over seven years and now its time for the national vice chairman to be removed from that position as his continued presence is causing so much controversy and embarrassment for the Society but the cowards in IRC will be too afraid to do so with giving Mr. Lawlor a nice plum alternative role as the new NDU. A bit like yer man Cardiff who was removed as head of the department of finance but given a plum job with massive salary and pension in Europe to sooth his bruised ego. Come on everyone, there are lots of us Unit people qualified for this job so lets get good high calibre applications in asap. Closing date end of March. Now is our chance to start ridding the Society of the damaging influences that have near ruined it. Lets ensure we as committed Unit members start afresh and anew with a new generation of leaders whose interests are the Irish Red Cross and not power and personal empires.

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  9. Anonymous11:23 AM

    In a brave new world we can dream of, by April this year, the new National Director of Units, being filled by a new generation of Irish Red Cross leader. Even better would be for the post to be filled by a woman, something which might begin addressing the serious gender imbalance within Irish Red Cross power structures. So Mna na hEireann Unit members, get mobilised!!

    Dreaming even more we could have a new Chairman by April as well. Imagine a new NDU, possibly female, and a new Chairperson, with no conflict of interest from previous employments and committed to transparency, modernity and accountability. If both posts are filled with new and qualified people the Irish Red Cross could begin its new future. The problem is the money is on the same 'near invisible' Chairman staying on and the current Vice Chairman becoming the National Director of Units...and sadly thats the reality

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  10. Anonymous3:56 AM

    Another parliamentary question in the Dail concerning the Irish Red Cross. This time asked by Sandra McLellan, TD East Cork. Link to question and standard response from Minister:

    http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2012-03-14.802.0

    By the way great comments above about appointing a female National Director of Units. But be careful that we dont get one of the female ruling elite old timers. That would change nothing. An injection of new blood would be great and if this person was female it would be even better. What chance though within the male dominated and controlled Irish Red Cross. If IRC is really committed to gender equality how about considering a well qualified female National Director of Units and a well qualified and external female Chairperson. As the comment above says, we can only dream...

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  11. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Two important vacant posts coming up as described above...the Chairperson of the Society and the new National Director of Units.

    Members now have the chance to finally start the process of renewal. Ensure an external Chairperson or someone internal who is properly qualified is appointed but not part of the old guard who have wrecked the place. I agree with the suggestions above about appointing a female National Director of Units but not one of the female old timers.

    If members want the same mess to continue then allow the posts to be filled by the two men who those in power have already 'decided' the posts will go to, David O' Callaghan for Chair and Tony Lawlor for National Director of Units.

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  12. Anonymous11:39 AM

    So the newly appointed Irish Red Cross Nominations Committee will take nominations for the position of Chairperson. Who makes up the Nominations Committee? Lets hope some fresh blood is on the this new committee as otherwise a disasterous choice will be made for the next Chairperson. How does one submit an application for the position of Chairperson to the nominations committee? Why isnt this information made available on the front page of the Irish Red Cross webpage? Why hasnt a letter been sent to all members and volunteers? No transparency as usual. Why isnt the names of the Nominations Committee published on the web? No transparency as usual. When is the closing date as the current Chairman's term expires in April so presumably they are reviewing applications and suitable names? Of course maybe they dont want any names so they can just give the position to the current Chairman as word is he wants to continue on. He will then be the only nomination from the Nominations Committee. Democracy Irish Red Cross style! Central Council need at least two if not three possibilities on which to vote on. I hope to get the names of the Nominations Committee later this week so if the names are not up on the Irish Red Cross website by then I'll post here at the weekend.

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  13. Anonymous1:52 PM

    The Irish Red Cross offer democracy as long as it does not interfere with the plan of nepotism. Pity the Monarchy is no longer in Ireland if it were not all Red Cross members would be begging audiences with the king.

    Long live the king ! I watch this organisation with so much joy, it proves that Humanity does not exist and the Red Cross is no more than just another ponzy money grabbing quango, and it doesn’t really give a crap fro those who it purports to represent. A resting place for failed bankers and political retirees.

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  14. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Has there been any word from the Dail Public Accounts Committee about the timing of the independent investigation into the Irish Red Cross? When will we know who will head up this investigation? Will the Gardai be asked to get involved or is that something that the independent investigation will decide on depending on what they find?

    Imagine if Irish Red Cross had not covered up the Tipp bank account scanda in 2008 and removed Tony Lawlor for his actions and if they had replaced other long serving board members as is normal practice in other organisations and not fired Noel Wardick for telling the truth (they should have promoted him to Secretary General) all this could have been avoided. They have so badly mishandled every aspect of this since 2008 that nobody trusts or believes a word uttered by them and so they are about to be independently investigated. How far will this investigation go back to? Will the canned beef donation from Larry Goodman and all involved with that be included in the investigation along with everything else since then. This could be explosive with massive ramifications for alot of 'important' people. Im actually a little scared even thinking about it. With very powerful enemies I fear for the likes of Noel Wardick and Gerard Moyne but at least they have truth on their side. I hope its enough to protect them.

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  15. Anonymous12:32 AM

    Canned beef! What about the Armenian project and the money paid to an Architect for a project that does not exist? What about the money they took in for the sale of the Irish Red Cross property at 50 Merrion road? What about the monies paid to the Fundraising Consultant who did no fundraising and just submitted invoices? The list goes on. The Executive Committee and former Executive Committee members should indeed be getting very nervous

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  16. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Dear Blogger, The Irish Red Cross have already given me as a member their decision on the future of the Society. I have written to the Society in January this year asking several questions already posted on this Blog. I have asked for the name of the Societies Solicitors. I have asked many questions, all of which they have declined to answer. I am not alone! The Red Cross in Ireland is a very sick organisation which has been confronted like the church with the truth. In response it makes its defence personal and confrontational. There is no defence for failure to govern properly. This is the reason Donal Forde has declined to answer my letter of January 2012 asking for details of my rights under common law and the 1939 Act. The Irish Red Cross has a disease which is like dry rot, the cure is in the admission. I look forward to an open transparent investigation. I have nothing whatsoever to fear, what can one fear of the truth, this is not an authoritarian regime, or is it ? Gerard Moyne Life Member Irish Red Cross

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  17. Anonymous12:40 PM

    So the Mahon Tribunal has found a bunch of politicians and county councillors corrupt and exposed the rot at the heart of Irish politics and business. No surprise that Fianna Fail at the centre of it! I'd imagine if the Public Accounts Committee go ahead and order the independent investigation into the Irish Red Cross that they have discussed the end result wont be too dissimilar. All those politicians and business people named in the Mahon Tribunal had their reputations destroyed long before the official findings were released and this too is similar to the Irish Red Cross leadership who lost all credibility and respect a long time ago. Their untruths at the PAC Hearing finished them off for good.

    I wonder has the Irish Red Cross Nominations Committee received many applications for the post of Chairman which becomes vacant next month? The commentor above is correct, Irish Red Cross is keeping this very quiet which makes me believe IRC doesnt want applications so the current guy can be retained and by doing so continue to protect the reputation of the Department of Defence, cover up past wrongdoings and to do his best to ensure no independent investigation takes place. As a former career civil servant he knows all about secrecy, its the culture of the civil service.

    What about the new National Director of Units position? Lets hope some good applications going in and lets hope every attempt is made to prevent Tony Lawlor from being crowned the new and first NDU. Whether its a man or women please dear God please do not allow it to be one of the ruling cronies as I think that would be too much for all us long suffering Irish Red Cross volunteers. Fresh blood, modern ideas, new faces...please!

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  18. Anonymous3:26 PM

    The Chairman of the Irish Red Cross O Callaghan went to great lengths to portray the Irish Red Cross as a democratic organisation, whatever that means. The truth is that democracy knows no place within the walls of that organisation, it is as autocratic as they come.

    They say they have 5000 members yet they choose not to allow any of these to be involved in the new governance proposals. The members do get to look at them , but only after they have been agreed and voted on They choose 8 people to formulate these proposals. One of these was the totally discredited Tony Lawlor.

    One can only hope the PAC will see through the veil of lies and do what no one else has dared, have an Independent body look at the Red Cross and how they spend our money !

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  19. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Does anyone really believe that Irish Red Cross has 5,000 volunteers.
    I live in West Cork and have a good idea of what is happening locally and I never hear any reference to the IRC. Is West Cork unique in having few volunteers or is this the norm and these claims of volunteer numbers are ghosts and long since departed from any active membership?

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  20. Anonymous2:41 AM

    The Minister Alan shatter, in his reponses to the Dail to 7 parliamentary questions asked in the Dail on 21st March 2012 about Irish Red Cross says he has met with David O Callaghan and trusts this guy in that he says, eveything is on track in the Irish Red Cross. I don't know who is fooling who. Minister if O Callaghan can bluff you, what hope is there for Ireland. O Callaghan was a Secretary General of the Department of Defence who have played a key role in the mess that is the Irish Red Cross and that's what he was trained to do, bluff Ministers. So Mr Shatter, wake up and smell the coffee, all is not well in the Irish Red Cross and never has. O Callaghan went into the PAC and told untruths and stayed silent while David Forde told untruths that's enough for me, he is just another left over from the Fianna Fail legacy (appointed by a FF government), listen to the members of the Red Minister not a retired civil servant with a mission to protect his former legacy in the Department, willing to bring fabrications to the PAC. There is of course over 10,000 pieces of Red Cross related correspondence in the Dept of Defence, then Minister tell us all is well.

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  21. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Congratulations to Noel Wardick, he has forced the Irish Red Cross to again amend their new constitution. He has forced them kicking and screaming to amend it on two occasions. Its a great achievement by him.

    The first ridiculous draft constituion the likes of Lawlor et al submitted only had a one year break for members of the Executive Committee after six years service. Noel camapigned with the Minister and others and following pressure from the Minister in May last year Irish Red Cross increased the break to 3 years but tried to trick everybody by making the break compulsory ONLY if someone else went forward for the position. If no-one else went forward then the person didnt have to step down. Stroke politics par excellance and the sheep mentality on Central Council did what they were told and voted it in. Back on the campaign trail Noel and others went with the Minister and other politicians and once again Irish Red Cross came under sustained pressure to amend their constitution as their trick began to backfire. Lo and behold at the Central Council meeting on 10th March 2012 an amended constitution was again put before the Central Council this time with wording that makes a three year break from Executive Committee 100% compulsory even if no other person goes forward for the position. The herd mentality did what they were told and voted the changes through which on this occasion was a good decision. Tony Lawlor and co will not be happy with these constant changes forced on Irish Red Cross because of campaigning by Noel Wardick and others but its very good for Irish Red Cross's future. It will prevent another Tony Lawlor ever again serving a nonsensical 21 years as Vice Chairman or on Executive. Brilliant work Noel, you have shown these guys up for what they really are.

    What remains to be addressed is past service as the Executive Committee still has people such as Lawlor and Noonan and Horwell who are well past their sell by date and need to be removed. We cant wait for another six years before they will have no choice but to go away. Also Central Council members can serve for life and that is against all good practice so Noel keep on campaigning as the minute you stop the cancer that lurks deep within Irish Red Cross will grow back.

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  22. Anonymous1:16 AM

    It is in some respects very sad that this Blog exists.
    The reason it exists is that the Irish Red Cross a Humanitarian organisation born of a need to provide humanitarian assistance in times of war and struggle has been infiltrated by individuals who have only self need in mind.

    If they were not interested in the power of their position, they would be actively insuring that throughout the Country there was a vibrant organisation involved in all facets of the role of the Red Cross.

    Unfortunately, this is not the case and this Blog will remain for decades as a tombstone and testament to what the Red Cross might have been. Tony Lawlor, Sheila Callan, Ted Noonan, Anne Murphy, Tom Horwell and David O Callaghan to name but a few, will not be able to stand proud to have been involved in the Red Cross. History will judge them and that judgement will be how they acted to insure that those that needed help most were denied it because of their personal need for power. So whilst they might rule now, their tenure is trailed with shameful acts and it these acts that their names will be attached to.


    What right did Tom Horwell have to sit in judgement over Noel Wardick refusing him the right to defend himself? These types of courts were called Diplock courts back in 1973, this would have been shortly after the Irish Red Cross were busy funding the purchase of weapons in Northern Ireland. Does this sound like most typical authoritarian regimes? God help Ireland! The Mahon report is a version of Fianna Fail’s involvement with the Irish Red Cross, it was CJ Haughey that filtered the money through the Red Cross, Ahern and Haughey have left a legacy which is not fit to be called the Irish Red Cross.

    Give the people of Haiti the money given for them and stop the lies. Well done Noel we all look forward to hearing your case !

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  23. Anonymous12:58 AM

    Irish Red Cross is no different than Fianna Fail. That organsiation needed a 15 year tribunal and for some of its senior personnel to to to jail before it started on the road to reform. Its only the Mahon Tribunal which will force them to go the next step and properly cleanse themselves. Only for Mahon they would be corrupt and incompetent for decades to come. Irish Red Cross will stop its 'not very deep' reform the minute the pressure on them eases. They will revert to type. They only way this can be prevented is by a detailed independent investigation and then to remove all those responsible for the ills of the past. In the meantime as many commentators have said on this blog a new Chairperson (truly independent) is needed in April and a really good modern (non ruling elite crony) National Director of Units is required. The Minister will appoint 4 Central Council representatives in April/May....he needs to choose carefully and for god's sake lets hope he doesnt pick four sheep to add to the herd. What's required is four people who will speak up at meetings, bring fresh ideas in, dilute the incompetence and herd mentality and above all bring a back bone to the Central Council

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  24. Anonymous4:15 AM

    On Wednesday 21st March 7 more parliamentary questions (PQs) about the Irish Red Cross were asked in Dail Eireann about its problems and the Public Accounts Committee's decision to consider an independent investigation into the Irish Red Cross. The Minister in response reiterated his belief that no-one should serve for long periods of time on the Irish Red Cross Central Council or Executive Committee. His position is that no-one should serve for more than 6 years in any one governance position and not more than twelve years in total on the Central Council or Executive Committee. Mr Lawlor please take note, the Minister, who is the man who represents the Irish public and who gives the Irish Red Cross nearly a million Euro every year, is telling you in a nice diplomatic way to go and go for good. Until you do everybody knows the Irish Red Cross will be blighted by your presence and PQs in the Dail will never cease.

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  25. Anonymous12:58 PM

    It does not matter what the PAC do about the Irish Red Cross it is destined to be a bi product of the disasters of Fianna Fail. It should be closed and the ground salted. They do not deserve a single penny of tax payers money. They do not deserve any money. They have proved themselves untrustworthy and that is the end of the discussion.

    They are so lucky to have Mr Forde it is a reflection of what they have become!

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  26. Anonymous11:45 PM

    Link to those recent 7 Parliamentary Questions about the problems at Irish Red Cross:

    http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2012/03/21/00357.asp

    In May this year Irish Red Cross will appoint a new Chairperson (or at least it has the opportunity to do so or to go with the old guard), will appoint a new National Director of Units and will appoint a new Executive Committee. This is the best chance Irish Red Cross has in years to reform itself. A new Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer are required. The others on Executive are invisible and just do what they are told so their departure would be no loss either. The Treasurer and Secretary will be automatically gone as they are Fianna Fail appointees and their term ends in April. Given what FF stands for in Ireland anyone associated with that party needs prompt removal from Irish Red Cross.

    Will Irish Red Cross use May 2012 to take a leap forward with new faces or will they blow the chance for a bright hopeful future?

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  27. Anonymous5:17 AM

    To the comment in relaton to West Cork,

    15% of the national membership is in west cork with branches in Adrigole, Allihies/ Cahermore,Berehaven (Castletownbere & Eyeries), Bantry, Skibbereen, Clonakilty- Timoleague, Kilbrittain, Bandon, Ballinspittle, Macroom, Kinsale, Dunmanway and Ballinora- Ballincollig. Plus many community defibrillator groups and visitation groups who are trained by the red cross. For more information on a branch near you please contact IRC Head Office or log on to the IRC Website.

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  28. Anonymous12:51 AM

    One must smile nervously to oneself when one thinks of how the Irish Red Cross has handled their affairs. They have, and must, have lost the trust of their membership. If this were not true, then they would have engaged with their membership to promote discourse regarding the protection and the integrity of the Society.
    Instead what did they do.

    They insured that the lines of communication are protected so that like the cell system used by subversive’s not so long ago; only one way communication is tolerated. In the case of Mr Moyne where they obviously broke their own rules they did what authoritarian regimes do, they ignored the reality of truth. The Red Cross have failed Mr Moyne they have acted contrary to their Principles and are guilty of misconduct. They have acted likewise to Noel Wardick which no doubt shall be detailed at great lengths in the reports to the labour court. Was it ever envisaged that a Red Cross Society would go to the courts to seek redress over exposure of the truth.

    The Irish Red Cross does not welcome dialogue and none is fostered. They regard having the odd mini discussion in pubs in Dublin as fulfilling their duty re: Humanitarian Law, yet fail to create any form of parallel opportunity for their membership. The Irish Red Cross is a shameful example of not only the culture of cute whoreism in Ireland, but the painful fact that there is no remorse amongst its ranks.

    The fact that the words within this Blog will be there as long as the Internet exist appears to have been lost on the IRC. For students of International Law this Blog must be a great place of reference when engaging with the subject of IHL and how National Societies fail in their Humanitarian mandate.

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  29. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Dear person in West Cork,

    The quote above suggest 15% of the membership is in West Cork. What or who does this 15% relate to? Does it relate to the membership on the books from year to year and include all the life members who are, for all intents and purposes dead to the Red Cross. I mean dead as the Red Cross never ever contact life members. Or is this a figure which is plucked out of thin air. because if this figure is true, there are 750 active members of the Red Cross in West Cork. nice to see the Irish Red Cross reading the Blog. Its the only way of hearing the truth !

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  30. Anonymous1:39 PM

    This Blog all who readit should ask why did the Chairman and the Secretary General apologise for giving misleading information to the PAC. Will that be featured on the IRC Website. Will the apology be for sneaking 600k out of the money meant for the people of Haiti. Can we trust anything that comes from the Donal Forde. He has a record for slipping apologies post interviews at the PAC. Perhaps he should apologise in advance and get that put on record so as not to cause offence. The Irish REd Cross should remember this, they shall be held accountable as does everyone eventually.

    Flynn, Ahern and the rest of the bunch ran with the hounds and the fox, the Irish Red Cross ran with FF also, they are loosing their partners fast and furious.

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