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Government failing to act in face of mounting charities scandals - Mary Lou McDonald TD

3 July, 2016

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said there are questions for the Government and successive Ministers for Health, following the emergence of yet another charities scandal.

She said Ministers had failed to deliver proper oversight in the face of ongoing shocking revelations.

McDonald's remarks follow reports today that the St John of God group, a taxpayer funded charity in receipt of hundreds of millions of euro in HSE funds, made exorbitant secret payments to senior managers.

Mary Lou McDonald said:

It is outrageous and unacceptable that 'charity' organisations in receipt of huge public funding continue to break the rules on public pay.

"Worse it seems in the case of John of Gods that the charity set out to deliberately and covertly break those rules.

"The PAC did valuable work in the last term on these section 38 and 39 organisations.

"Clearly our work is not finished. Serious questions arise in respect of the HSE and its oversight and management of funds to these organizations.

"Serious questions arise for government and ministers for health, past and present. They have failed to deliver proper oversight and due diligence even in the face of ongoing scandals in the charitable sector.

“There is now an obvious and urgent need to enact Part 4 of the Charities Act to give the Charities Regulator the legal power to carry out statutory investigations of charities.

“It must also be remembered that the core of problem, leading to scandals such as that at Console and now St John of God is the outsourcing to religious organisations and others of essential services which should be provided by the state and not left to charity.

“I intend to ask the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee to ensure that the financial irregularities at St John of God are on the agenda for next week’s committee meetings.”


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