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Shatter misses Easter deadline for charity regulator

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Justice Minister Alan Shatter has missed the Easter deadline for establishing a charity regulator

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has missed the Easter deadline for establishing a charity regulator

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has missed the Easter deadline for establishing a charity regulator

A charity regulator is still not in place despite assurances from Justice Minister Alan Shatter that the new state agency would be established by Easter.

Reacting to public outrage over the massive salary top-ups paid to charity bosses, Mr Shatter pledged to introduce a regulatory body to oversee the sector.

The minister set a deadline of April 20 – tomorrow – to announce the full board and chief executive of the new regulator.

On January 17, at the height of the scandal, Mr Shatter, left, said he was "pleased to be able to confirm" the appointments to the new authority's board would be made before Easter.

Una Ni Dhubhghaill, a senior civil servant in the Department of Justice, was appointed as CEO of the authority on March 1.

At the time of her appointment, Mr Shatter reiterated his commitment to have a board in place by Easter

Asked yesterday why the new board was not yet in place, a Department of Justice spokeswoman said it would be announced "in the very near future".

The department sought expressions of interest for membership of the board and these are being considered.

The spokeswoman said Ms Ni Dhubhghaill would be completely independent and report directly to the board. Her appointment followed an internal recruitment process.

Mr Shatter received approval from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to appoint Ms Ní Dhubhghaill and 10 civil servants from his department to the authority in January.

The regulatory authority was announced in a bid to restore public confidence in the charity sector.

The move followed revelations that public donations to the Central Remedial Clinic were been used to top up salaries.

The shocking abuse of public trust led to the resignation of the CRC board and demands for former CEO Paul Kiely to return his massive €740,000 pension pay out.

The backlash against charities escalated further when salary and consultancy payments to senior figures in Rehab emerged through Public Accounts Committee hearings.

Former CEO Angela Kerins resigned following calls for her to reveal her pension and salary details.

Her resignation was closely followed by Frank Flannery's departure from the Rehab board.

Barnardo's chief executive Fergus Finlay said he was "very disappointed" a board had not been appointed.

"I have a feeling the eye has been taken off the ball and other issues have got in the way obviously and it's a letdown," he said.

Irish Independent