Crisis at Childline as revenue drops 20pc
Childline is under threat as the service has reported a 20pc drop in revenues this year.
The 24-hour children's counselling phone service has issued an appeal to the public for donations after it said it had hit a "breaking point".
The service operator, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), said that last year's revelations that charitable donations had been used to top up the salaries of senior staff at the Central Remedial Clinic had led to this unsustainable drop in revenue.
Director of services Caroline O'Sullivan said Childline costs around €4m to run per year but that they hadn't managed to raise this figure for five years.
She said that the charity had had to impose redundancies, pay reductions and pay freezes and that it couldn't afford to make any further cuts.
"We thought at the end of last year we would break even, but now we're 20pc below where we were on previous years," Ms O'Sullivan said.
She said Childline and the ISPCC are "completely transparent" in how they use donations and that readers could donate €2 to the service by texting the word 'Childline' to 50300. To contact Childline, freephone 1800 66 66 66 or text 50101.