Sinn Féin will tonight use their Private Members Time to be debate the Charities (Amendment) Act 2014 in the Dáil tonight and tomorrow which if supported will force the government to enact all provisions within the 2009 Charities Act by 31st May 2014.
Speaking today, Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD said;
“Charities in Ireland have been unregulated since the foundation of this state. This is doing untold damage to charities and all of the vulnerable people who depend on them to survive.
“The 2009 Act published by Fianna Fáil claimed to put an end to unregulated charities but their failure and the failure of this government to implement it led to further scandals within the sector.
“Sinn Féin welcomes the statement by Minister Shatter last Friday announcing the establishment of a Charities Regulatory Authority by Easter this year. The logical next step is to support our motion tonight and ensure that the entire infrastructure arising from the original charities act is fully implemented by May of this year.
“It is unfortunate that it took so long and so many scandals before the Minister could do this. Unfortunately the failure to act on this issue over the years is what has created the situation we are seeing the moment.
“The recent revelations of generous salary top-up payments and gold-plated pensions paid from charitable funds at the Oireachtas PAC Committee hearings are proof that the sector needs regulation urgently.
“We are calling for all party support tomorrow night on our motion.”