Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Defence Seán Ó Fearghaíl has called on the Government to expedite legislation to reform the governance structures at the Irish Red Cross.

The Government has confirmed to Deputy Ó Fearghaíl that there is still no date for bringing forward the legislation despite the obvious problems at the charity and the resignation of three top members of the management team.

“It is clear that The Red Cross is in considerable turmoil.  As the charity receives substantial funding from the State, it is up to the Government to ensure that it operates in an efficient and open manner in its use of public funds,” said Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.

“The much-needed legislation to reform the governance structures at the Red Cross have been far down the list of priorities for this Government.  I have raised the issue in the Dáil and been told that still no date has been set for this promised legislation.  Meanwhile the charity is struggling to recover from a litany of difficulties involving financial irregularities, accounting deficiencies and management issues.

“We now have a situation where three top managers at the Irish Red Cross, including its General Secretary, have handed in their notice.  It is clear that a major overall of governance structures at the charity is urgently needed.

“Taxpayers have a right to expect the public money given to the Red Cross is being spent in the best possible way.  The Irish Red Gross receives a State grant of €869,000 as well as additional funding for the overseas programmes that it manages.  We need complete transparency about the use of this funding, and this requires robust governance structures.  I am calling on the Government to expedite the necessary legislation.”