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Tuesday 24 October 2017

'All charities pay a high price when a few breach the public's trust'

Money Talks: Adi Roche

Adi Roche, chief executive of the Chernobyl Children International (CCI) charity
Adi Roche, chief executive of the Chernobyl Children International (CCI) charity
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

Adi Roche is the chief executive of the Irish-based Chernobyl Children International (CCI) charity. Born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Adi started working in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 to provide support to children living in the affected areas. She founded CCI in 1991.

The charity's Christmas campaign is for its cardiac programme - which carries out life-saving operations on children suffering from genetic heart defects. Donations can be made online at or by calling the charity on 021 4558774.

What is the most important lesson about money which your career in charity has taught you?

Transparency is so important. The sector is paying a high price for the recent scandals in some charities. The sector is so fragile and vulnerable to public opinion. We get calls from volunteers all over the country telling us how difficult it is to try to raise funds. All charities pay a high price when a few breach the public's trust.

What's the hardest thing about raising money for a charity?

Making sure 'the story' of Chernobyl stays out there and fresh in people's minds. The accident happened 30 years ago this year so there is a tendency to think that Chernobyl is something that happened a long time ago and that the effects must be gone. However, the reality is very different. The impact of that single shocking nuclear accident can never be undone and countless millions of people are still being affected by its deadly legacy.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

My favourite old coin is the 10p because of the emblem of the Salmon of Knowledge. I believe strongly in our Irish heritage and traditions and have always loved the stories that have been passed down through the generations. These stories, songs, poetry and music make our culture and identity as a nation uniquely Irish.

What's the biggest financial advantage of coming from Clonmel?

The value of coming from Clonmel is a richness based in the value of community which is not something that one can put a monetary figure on.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

My husband's car!

What was your worst job?

I've never had a bad job.

What was your biggest financial mistake?


What was your best financial killing?

Never had one.

Do you use any money-saving apps?

Never heard of them and never use them!

Do you have an Android or iPhone?


Do you know how much is in your current account?

Unfortunately, yes I do!

Have you ever switched utility provider?


Do you use iTunes or Spotify?

I use iTunes but I'm more of radio person.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A dress.

Do you have a mortgage? Is it fixed, variable or tracker?


Would you buy Irish property now?

Maybe - if the price was right!

Do you pay in cash or card?


Do you ever haggle?

I always haggle! One of the things you learn quickly working the charity sector is to be really thrifty and haggle at every opportunity. I'm always conscious in a charity that you are spending people's money. You have a responsibility to ensure you are getting the best value for it and the best rate possible.

Are you better off than your parents?


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