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Sunday 19 November 2017

GOAL chief O'Shea has full support of board

Charity rocked by resignations in recent months

Colm Kelpie and Luke Byrne

THE board of GOAL has thrown its support behind the charity's chief John O'Shea after two directors quit following just three months in office.

Pat O'Mahony -- former chairperson of the Irish Medicines Board -- has been appointed the aid agency's new chairman after Ken Fogarty stepped down last month.

His resignation only came to light on Friday when a second director, Fran Rooney, announced he was quitting.

Mr Rooney said it was unacceptable that a second chairman had resigned in three months and claimed Mr Fogarty had cited corporate governance issues for his departure.

In a statement yesterday, the charity stressed best practice in corporate governance and procedures was a key objective.

"GOAL operates to the highest international standards and has its own audit committee which is comprised of eminently qualified independent professionals," it said. "GOAL has never been stronger as an organisation."

In an unprecedented move in August, four of the charity's six directors dramatically resigned, including then chairman Jerry Sheehan, Andy Butler, David Allman, and Conor Sparks.

Directors of the charity are unpaid and are usually selected by Mr O'Shea himself.

Efforts by the Irish Independent to contact Mr O'Shea last night proved unsuccessful.

A Goal spokesman said it was not possible to state when Mr O'Mahony was appointed the chairmanship, nor would he comment on the reasons for the resignations of Mr Fogarty and Mr Rooney.


The organisation stressed it was regularly subjected to "rigorous financial scrutiny" from the Irish and British governments and the EU.

And it claimed the board had been "substantially strengthened" under Mr O'Mahony's stewardship.

The charity said that its work with the poor remains its top priority. "We are satisfied that under the direction of John O'Shea, GOAL will continue to be regarded as one of the world's leading humanitarian agencies," the statement said.

At the time of his appointment as chairman, Mr Fogarty, a barrister by profession, said that the new board had "full confidence" in high-profile CEO Mr O'Shea.

Goal was founded in 1977 by Mr O'Shea. The organisation said it anticipated that it would have spent in the region of €70m this year.

The charity also became embroiled in controversy for the way in which it handled the kidnapping of its aid worker Sharon Commins in 2009.

Ms Commins spent 107 days in captivity and hit out at the charity, claiming it had endangered her life.

Irish Independent

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