Saturday 16 December 2017

Gay and Lesbian Equality Network to close after recent controversy

Kieran Rose Picture: Tommy Clancy
Kieran Rose Picture: Tommy Clancy

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) is to close following a review of its financial operations.

The LGBTI charity issued a statement saying they are winding down and handing over their services to other agencies.

Following an external review of the operation of GLEN, the board has concluded that they do not currently have the organisational capacity or funding to continue their work.

Three employees are being made redundant.

The charity was surrounded in controversy last month when it emerged that the Charities Regulator was looking into its finances and has requested three years of credit card statements and accounts.

The announcement comes a month after Glen's chairperson, Kieran Rose, resigned.

Mr Rose said he was resigning "with regret" after concerns were raised over his unsuccessful Seanad campaign being run from Glen's office.

In a statement he revealed the organisation backed his Seanad campaign to the tune of €11,500.

The Irish Independent previously revealed that Mr Rose did not disclose the help he got from Glen during his Seanad Campaign to the State's political standards watchdog.

The Charities Regulator subsequently directed Glen to provide information including financial reports, details of staff credit cards and the report of an independent auditor.

In a statement today, Glen said the board is fully co-operating with the Charities Regulator review and has provided all necessary information requested to date.

"We wish to note that the organisation is under review by the Charities Regulator. No investigation has been commenced by the Charities Regulator.

"The board has provided the Charities Regulator with a copy of the recommendations of Jillian van Turnhout. It is an independent report and is included as an appendix to this statement.

"We have accepted the recommendations of Ms van Turnhout and thank her for her work."

According to Glen, in the report Ms van Turnhout notes that "we did not find any evidence of misappropriation of state or donors funds or any fraudulent activity taking place”.

GLEN was established in 1988 and has a proud record of achievement in serving the LGBTI community. We have delivered not just a range of services; we have also helped radically reshape the lives of LGBTI people through the achievement of progressive social change, culminating in the successful Marriage Equality campaign in 2015.

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