Sunday 17 December 2017

Irregularities at leading lesbian and gay charity 'apparent last October' - Executive Director

Glen has to comply with the Regulator's direction by the end of the month. (Stock picture)
Glen has to comply with the Regulator's direction by the end of the month. (Stock picture)

Amy Molloy and Mark O'Regan

The outgoing Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) has said a number of irregularities became apparent shortly after she joined the organisation last October.

Áine Duggan said the Glen board were not made aware of some financial transactions, many of which were in excess of €60,000.

She said there was "clearly an indication of spending on credit cards" and that some of the money had been spent on a political campaign.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said: "In some instances you can definitely see that people got into a habit of doing things without necessarily thinking about it, and that was all behaviour that needed to be corrected."

Ms Duggan said she brought this to the attention of the board of Glen over a series of meetings last November and December.

She also recommended that a series of corrective measures be implemented, such as reporting the concerns to the Charities Regulator and the hiring of accountants with the required experience.

She said: "The context here was there was nobody with any financial expertise reviewing the books and we didn't have qualified accountants preparing the books".

Ms Duggan was announced as the new executive director of Glen in September last year.

It is understood the charity was in line to receive €200,000 from the HSE last month, but the money is being withheld until the issues have been fully examined.

The organisation's mental health programme - which aims to prevent LGBT suicide and promote mental health - is funded by the HSE.

Founded in 1988, the group works on a broad range of issues including sexual health, mental health, physical health and education.

It says its aim is to create an Ireland where "LGBT people can feel equal and included in all aspects of their lives."

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