goat2 Registered User
#16

i thought that when an organisation had alot of different monies coming in, that there would be one main account that all the money could be lodged in, so as to keep up to date with what they had, but with accounts in different banks it make it more complicated, or, had they forgotten that they had this in the bank

#17

murphaph said:
I've cancelled my (modest) IRC standing order this morning. Wanted to give them a bit of time to get their act together but they've failed. I'll seek out a reputable charity to donate to in future. Any suggestions?



I have lost a lot of belief in institutionalised charities. Whether it is Trocaire or Concern spending my money lobbying the government, making ads for the TV or on PR, or the likes of the Red Cross where we don't know where the money is spent, it is difficult.

I find it better to think local, to do voluntary work for the school, football team, scout group in my local area, to donate time to them. If you don't have time, rather than donating money, better to give a set of footballs or hurleys, a computer for the school etc. so you know where your money is going.

goat2 Registered User
#18

Godge said:
I have lost a lot of belief in institutionalised charities. Whether it is Trocaire or Concern spending my money lobbying the government, making ads for the TV or on PR, or the likes of the Red Cross where we don't know where the money is spent, it is difficult.

I find it better to think local, to do voluntary work for the school, football team, scout group in my local area, to donate time to them. If you don't have time, rather than donating money, better to give a set of footballs or hurleys, a computer for the school etc. so you know where your money is going.

that is a very good idea, i have always collected for the heart foundation, cancer, aware, and like you i think i also have done my bit,

SeanW Registered User
#19

Oscail said:
SeanW: Yes that would have got you on their mailing list if your donation went through Irish Red Cross. If you sent directly to Japanese Red Cross then its not the reason IRC has your contact details so not sure how they would have got them.
Thanks Oscail but I'm pretty sure that I gave the money directly to the Japanese Red Cross (online). I have no idea why I got that letter for the simple reason that I never gave the Irish Red Cross anything, and never contacted them in any way, IIRC.

goat2 said:
could someone explain, why did they not declare this large amount to head office, what were they going to do with it,
Your guess is as good as anyones, it seems.

#20

I have lost a lot of belief in institutionalised charities. Whether it is Trocaire or Concern spending my money lobbying the government, making ads for the TV or on PR, or the likes of the Red Cross where we don't know where the money is spent, it is difficult."

Having worked in disasters and development for nearly 3 decades in Africa and Asia, I have still the same difficulty in finding an efficient, effective and accountable charity to support.
Small "altruistic" charities in developing countries tend towards naivety and a vulnerability to getting ripped off by the smart local educated elite. Some such charities of course do good work and at often low cost but all too often end up;- getting drawn into local politics, favouring selective clans/ tribes, being thwarted by insecurity the status/ recognition / legality to get things done.
Larger charities / agencies invariably are bloated, bureaucratic, unaccountable institutions with clever fundraising and PR and often lacking independence because of reliance or government or religiouse support. Whilst essential in delivering disaster relief, they invariably lack developmental / service ability ecause of their make up;- out of touch / contact with the really poor, overly academic and lacking in field experience / credibility, reliance on expensive and often uncaring career employees.
Working exclusively in the field (with the vulnerable), I have never found any small or large relief or development charities / agencies who are either truly results orientated, efficient or accountable. On one occasion when I suggested to a government department to seek more detailed accounting to match their programme reporting, I was summarily dismissed – “we’re all in this together lads”.
The needs are enormous and beyond anything we understand as need in this country but invariably a large % of money contributed is spent by charities in-house or on transport and accommodation while a very small % reaches the needy.
As long as we do not have more robust accountability, policing and accreditation of such charities and agencies, then we will continue to give our meagre funds in the knowledge that much will be wasted. The search goes on.

Oscail Registered User
#21

I have reviewed with interest the latest marketing campaign by the Irish Red Cross which to me appears as nothing more than a cynical attempt to actually put these problems behind them without ever addressing them. The "questions and answers" section on their website attempting to explain the recent (and not so recent) shambles is nothing short of insulting to the intelligent Members, Volunteers and Staff of the Irish Red Cross, not to mention the Irish Taxpayer. The problems at the Irish Red Cross cannot be "explained away". I personally suspect many of these problems actually transgress into corporate crime but of course that has not been proved so thats important to note. Time will hopefully tell. I look forward to reviewing the response to the IRC (question and answers) in the recent blog article http://governancereformatirishredcross.blogspot.com

However in the mean time I just wanted to note something curious I noticed today. Usually when I wish to get to this blog I just type in "governancereformatirishredcross" into Google and this blog is usually top of the list, as one would expect as it's quite a unique search title. Today however I noticed that on top of the list is actually a link to the IRC website under the banner "FIND REAL ANSWERS ABOUT THE IRISH RED CROSS" I really thought this was actually quite funny, I figured the IRC are as entitled as anyone to get their story, spin, blurb whatever you want to call it out there. My slight amusement then turned to astonishment when I noticed that this banner had the word "ad" in the top right hand corner. So, I stand to be corrected on this, I am assuming this is actually an ad that the IRC have paid Google to display, linked (again assuming) to any search related to "governancereformatirishredcross". So the IRC have made a failed attempt to sue Google trying to shut down this blog (how much money wasted??)......and now they appear to be paying Google to advertise the Irish Red Cross in any search associated with this blog!!!!!!!!!! The mind boggles.

Oscail Registered User
#22

I have reviewed with interest the latest marketing campaign by the Irish Red Cross which to me appears as nothing more than a cynical attempt to actually put these problems behind them without ever addressing them. The "questions and answers" section on their website attempting to explain the recent (and not so recent) shambles is nothing short of insulting to the intelligent Members, Volunteers and Staff of the Irish Red Cross, not to mention the Irish Taxpayer. The problems at the Irish Red Cross cannot be "explained away". I personally suspect many of these problems actually transgress into corporate crime but of course that has not been proved so thats important to note. Time will hopefully tell. I look forward to reviewing the response to the IRC (question and answers) in the recent blog article http://governancereformatirishredcross.blogspot.com

However in the mean time I just wanted to note something curious I noticed today. Usually when I wish to get to this blog I just type in "governancereformatirishredcross" into Google and this blog is usually top of the list, as one would expect as it's quite a unique search title. Today however I noticed that on top of the list is actually a link to the IRC website under the banner "FIND REAL ANSWERS ABOUT THE IRISH RED CROSS" I really thought this was actually quite funny, I figured the IRC are as entitled as anyone to get their story, spin, blurb whatever you want to call it out there. My slight amusement then turned to astonishment when I noticed that this banner had the word "ad" in the top right hand corner. So, I stand to be corrected on this, I am assuming this is actually an ad that the IRC have paid Google to display, linked (again assuming) to any search related to "governancereformatirishredcross". So the IRC have made a failed attempt to sue Google trying to shut down this blog (how much money wasted??)......and now they appear to be paying Google to advertise the Irish Red Cross in any search associated with this blog!!!!!!!!!! The mind boggles.

Oscail Registered User
#23

I have reviewed with interest the latest marketing campaign by the Irish Red Cross which to me appears as nothing more than a cynical attempt to actually put these problems behind them without ever addressing them. The "questions and answers" section on their website attempting to explain the recent (and not so recent) shambles is nothing short of insulting to the intelligent Members, Volunteers and Staff of the Irish Red Cross, not to mention the Irish Taxpayer. The problems at the Irish Red Cross cannot be "explained away". I personally suspect many of these problems actually transgress into corporate crime but of course that has not been proved so thats important to note. Time will hopefully tell. I look forward to reviewing the response to the IRC (question and answers) in the recent blog article http://governancereformatirishredcross.blogspot.com

However in the mean time I just wanted to note something curious I noticed today. Usually when I wish to get to this blog I just type in "governancereformatirishredcross" into Google and this blog is usually top of the list, as one would expect as it's quite a unique search title. Today however I noticed that on top of the list is actually a link to the IRC website under the banner "FIND REAL ANSWERS ABOUT THE IRISH RED CROSS" I really thought this was actually quite funny, I figured the IRC are as entitled as anyone to get their story, spin, blurb whatever you want to call it out there. My slight amusement then turned to astonishment when I noticed that this banner had the word "ad" in the top right hand corner. So, I stand to be corrected on this, I am assuming this is actually an ad that the IRC have paid Google to display, linked (again assuming) to any search related to "governancereformatirishredcross". So the IRC have made a failed attempt to sue Google trying to shut down this blog (how much money wasted??)......and now they appear to be paying Google to advertise the Irish Red Cross in any search associated with this blog!!!!!!!!!! The mind boggles.

Oscail Registered User
#24

Apologies for posting above article 3 times. Not sure how it happened but was attempting to edit the slight typo in the title. Not sure how to remove the multiple posts so again, apologies.

karunadaka Registered User
#25

Hi Oscail - Ronan from the Red Cross here. Google provides adwords to charities for free, so no donors money is being spent on it in the way you are suggesting.

And no one is attempting to wash away the mistakes of the past - precisely the opposite. Our response to many valid and some invalid criticisms of a former employee criticisms, and the changes we are making, can be found here: http://www.redcross.ie/corporate_site/about_us/governance_policies_and_annual_reports/response_to_criticisms

If there are issues we havn't addressed, then let us know at communications@redcross.ie

#26

karunadaka said:
Hi Oscail - Ronan from the Red Cross here. Google provides adwords to charities for free, so no donors money is being spent on it in the way you are suggesting.

And no one is attempting to wash away the mistakes of the past - precisely the opposite. Our response to many valid and some invalid criticisms of a former employee criticisms, and the changes we are making, can be found here: http://www.redcross.ie/corporate_site/about_us/governance_policies_and_annual_reports/response_to_criticisms

If there are issues we havn't addressed, then let us know at communications@redcross.ie


Ronan, You know very well that the link you mention above does not answer the critisms and it does appear that you and IRC are not seriously engaging with the issues.
Let us assume that IRC has a genuine desire to dialogue with its detractors and to counter the bad publicity which is currently widespread. If so, IRC would be well advised to explain or counter allegations of mismanagement and lack of accountability through the holding of nationally advertised public meetings.
Public meeting would be an opportunity for IRC to chart out its future and to explain its past actions as well as clear up misunderstandings on contentious issues such as:-
· Unaudited / unidentified property portfolio.
· Whistleblower firing and miserable human resources record,
· Tipperary emergency appeal funds mystery.
· Questionable governance with continual re-appointments to office.
· Lack of meaningful national action at this time of austerity.
· Unclear separation of governance and management.
IRC must understand that communication is a two-way process and that website Q&A will never adequately address the genuine concerns that threaten its integrity. This blog has clearly shown how the PR answers so far provided by IRC in addressing the issues are at best inadequate and at worst disingenuous.
Only if IRC can be courageous enough to meet face to face with its critics and past supporters / volunteers can confidence be restored and new confidence generated. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies would surely facilitate such a meeting as an honest broker and at the same time explain how the IRC is or is not in compliance with the Movements regulation and accountability requirements.

karunadaka Registered User
#27

Hi Zorbas - I'm afraid I dont agree that it doesn't answer the criticisms. Whether people are happy with and agree with the responses is of course another matter! And naturally communication is a 2-way thing - the responses posted on our website are just that - responses; this is clearly a live and on-going discussion.

As mentioned before, if there are specific issues that people would like a response to, then please do mail us at communications@redcross.ie and we will answer them as best we can.

As for the town hall meeting idea - I happen to think it is a very good one and I will pass the suggestion on.

There is a governance reform process which is still on-going - the Federation in Geneva has been consulted along the way and once it is all finalised I'm confident they will give it their stamp of approval. Breaking the link with the government (the Red Cross was established in 1939 under an act of the Oireachtas) is part of the time it is taking.

I'm off-line now but will check in again in the next couple of days.

running nowhere Registered User
#28

Ronan,
The Executive Committee of the Irish Red Cross has failed in their duties. This is absolutely evident. Q&A, town hall meetings, marketing campaigns may be all well and good, however the simple matter remains that absolutely no one has been held accountable for these failings, failings which are suddenly and readily admitted by the Irish Red Cross. I am sick and tired of the endless lack of accountability in this country, from banks to church to politics. The Irish Red Cross is simply another organisation refusing to move on from a bygone era.
Please do not continue to refer to governance reform and consultation with the International Federation (IFRC), this line has been spun for many many years with absolutely no change whatsoever. As for the IFRC I know they are simple exasperated with the IRC, yes they may put their stamp of approval on governance reform proposals but that is unfortunately only an indictment on their lack of backbone in terms of dealing with incompetent national societies.
You refer to breaking the link with the Government; you seem to refer to this link as having been a problem? It is this link that has provided millions upon millions of euro to the Irish Red Cross. However, I am sure the Executive Committee would love to break this link as it would cut off another party who has the temerity to question the Executive Committee.
Ronan please refrain from continuing to produce the same old blurb on behalf of a board who has failed in its duties. It has been the same broken record rubbish for the last 20 years. Please stop insulting the intelligence of the Members, Staff, and Irish Tax Payers.
While you are passing on the idea of a town hall meeting could you please also pass on the idea of the entire Executive Committee being removed for failing in their duties and the idea of an independent external investigation being carried out to identify those responsible for gross negligence relating financial and other matters as already admitted by the Irish Red Cross. You might also pass on the idea that bullying, harassment, intimidation and fear are not admirable policies to use to keep Staff in line for any organisation let alone one which claims to be part of the Red Cross Movement.

3 people have thanked this post
#29

Totally agree with Running Nowhere and his/her analysis and frustration which is, I feel sure shared by most of those who would have supported Red Cross in the past. A perfunctory reply or two from Ronan, whose position in IRC remains undeclared, will not fool anyone.
The long awaited and radical reform of IRC is clearly not in process and the stalemate which currently exists needs to be broken:
Those IRC officials and staff who remain from the past are too compromised to be reformist,, those new arrivals including the SG / CEO are recruited by them, are new to the Movement. Perhaps mistakenly the new CEO feels that the tinkering around the edges of the problem is achieving something whilst the status quo at governance level remains in place.
Much hope had been placed in the new Government, however it’s now unclear how far up the priority list is reform and accountability of the IRC. "Breaking linkage with government" as quoted by Ronan of IRC needs explanation to know if this is to affect government oversight.
Some hope had been placed in the International RC/RC (IFRC) because of its history in helping to turn around National Societies in developing countries. It would appear that it is not used to working in the developed world environment and the implied double standards of this modus operandi are unfortunate.
Remarkably the power of public opinion and media criticisms has had little apparent impact on the IRC as evidenced by their half-hearted responses. One wonders how really aware are they about the crisis in confidence in IRC which is widespread in the country.
For those who believe in the Red Cross / Crescent Movement and its Principles, we must continue to flush out the IRC to properly face its critics. IRC cannot hide away forever and I still think that public meetings with the SG and Chairman in attendance could offer a positive way forward.
IRC must know that people feel too strongly to give up on the needed root and branch reform of IRC.
The IRC must wake up to fact that many now feel that the IRC cannot be trusted.
Without Government funding, diversion of ear-marked funding or income from the unaudited property portfolio ; IRC would undoubtedly face the reality of insolvency.
Time is running out. Let us unite in demanding meetings as a first step in calling IRC to account. If IRC are not willing to hold such meetings, then perhaps its time others took the initiative.

goat2 Registered User
#30

i always saw the red cross as a huge organisation, seeing their ambulances at sports events, and always gave to collections for this organisation,

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