An article published in SligoToday.ie
dated July 13th 2012 by Jim O'Sullivan titled Charities: A Benefit or Self-serving Hindrance?
incorrectly stated that the salary of Focus Ireland’s CEO Joyce Loughnan is €146,191
Focus Ireland would like to clarify this error and confirm that Ms. Loughnan’s salary is €125,000 - which is in the same region as the CEO’s of other NGO’s of a similar size.
Focus Ireland highlighted that 90 cent of every euro raised is spent directly on its services to combat and prevent homelessness in Sligo and around the country.
Focus Ireland has a successful track record of preventing families and single people from becoming homeless through losing their tenancy and is already actively supporting over 40 households in Sligo city and county areas through this work.
The charity also provides an additional 30 households with a permanent home - with support - in Sligo. Focus Ireland has also received a number of awards for transparency and excellence in financial reporting.
While it is important for the media to play a role in helping to ensure that organisations are transparent we did feel the tone of this article was very one-sided and did not mention all the great work carried out by charities in every town and city nationwide. The article also did not refer the high levels of corporate governance in place across many charities.
Mr O'Sullivan wrote about the drafting of a new “Charities Act” to regulate the charity sector and suggested this “has become stalled in the corridors of power and the guess is that strenuous lobbying by and on behalf of the charity sector is the reason.”
The real fact of the situation is that Minister for Justice Alan Shatter confirmed in May of this year that the Charities Act has been deferred for cost reasons. However, the article failed to mention that many charities adhere to extremely high standards of corporate governance and have taken steps
A number of organisations from the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector worked in recent years to develop a code of Governance for charities. Focus Ireland participated in establishing, is signed up to and compliant with this voluntary Governance Code for Irish charities
Focus Ireland is committed to maintaining the highest standards of Corporate Governance. We have a proud track record of transparency and Focus Ireland is signed-up to - and compliant with - all the best practice codes in the Irish Charity sector.
'We believe that setting and maintaining these high standards is a key element in demonstrating accountability to our donors, funders and to taxpaying citizens.
'It also supports us in providing the highest quality service to our customers and in ensuring the proper operation of our activities.
'We are signed up to and compliant with the voluntary ICTR ‘Guiding Principles of Fundraising’ which are reflected in our own ‘Donor’s Charter.’
'We have won the Charter Accountants of Ireland Leinster Society award for published accounts in 2011.'