ONE bequest of almost €1m from an anonymous donor was not enough to prevent aid agency Trocaire sliding into the red last year.
Trocaire is the overseas charity of the Catholic Church and the agency's 2012-2013 annual report confirms that the amount received in bequests in the year to the end of February (2013) almost doubled from €2.38m to €4.16m.
The chief factor behind the increase was the one-off bequest of almost €1m.
A spokesman for the agency said yesterday: "The value of bequests varies from year to year but last year we were extremely fortunate and grateful to receive a single bequest of almost €1m.
"To receive such a large sum is a tremendous affirmation of the faith placed in Trocaire by our supporters."
However, this was not enough to stop the charity recording a loss of €4.4m last year.
In spite of the loss, the charity remains cash rich with €45.6m in the bank.
Explaining the loss, the spokesman said: "The difference is accounted for by the fact that Trocaire did not launch any emergency appeal last year.
"In 2011 the emergency appeal for East Africa saw the public donate €10m to support our humanitarian programme.
"Trocaire's response to the drought and famine in East Africa is to build long-term resilience and so a portion of this money was spent in 2012 as we continued to support vulnerable people in the region."
He pointed out: "Last year our Lenten income and grants received through institutional donors both rose, indicating the continued support for our work from both the public and institutional funders."
He said: "Our income and expenditure for 2012/13 was in line with our budget for the financial year."
The figures show that Trocaire raised €60m in revenues last year, compared with €66m in 2011, and spent €64.7m, compared with €61.3m, in 2011.
The charity raised €8.6m from its Lenten campaign, while last year it spent €4.8m on fundraising and publicity.
The charity's largest source of income is the Government's Irish Aid, which last year contributed €18.4m.
The accounts show that the charity's former executive director, Justin Kilcullen, was in receipt of a salary on a scale of between €135,000 to €150,000 last year.
The charity recently appointed a new boss, Eamon Meehan, and a spokesman said: "During the recruitment process for the new executive director, the Board of Trustees reviewed the salary scale and the incoming executive director will be paid between €120,000-€130,000."
The spokesman said: "Despite the difficult economic circumstances facing many people, public support for Trocaire's work remained stable and institutional funding increased."