NEWS

Donegal charity responds following article about its finances

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Donegal charity responds following article about its finances

The board of the charity the Good and New Shop has issued a statement following the publication of an article by The Sunday Times which showed the organisation had received €400,000 more in a two-year period than it had spent.

The charity, which operates a bus service for cancer patients between Donegal and Galway, said that the €400,000 figure referred to in the story was from accounts filed in November 2016.

The board said it is keen to address the issues raised and wants to ensure its good reputation is not tarnished.

The statement said it was the charity’s intention to build up this reverse which would be used to purchase a building in early 2017  at a cost of €270,000.

“This was completed in early 2017,” the statement said. “Hence there was a surplus of funds on the balance sheet that the article referred to for this purpose. The rest of the cash is on the balance sheet. We, like most charities, aim to keep funds of up to two years running costs in the organisation , to ensure a continued service for the charity. This is standard practice within charities nationwide and our auditors can verify that the funds are there for this purpose.”

The charity said it was “with disappointment and huge concern that we read the article”.

The Good and New Shop said it carried 713 people to and from Galway by the end of last year, which involved approximately eight and ten trips per person.

“We are keen to address the issues raised and want to ensure our good reputation is not tarnished in any way so we can continue to provide this vital service,” it said.

“Our chairman was taken off guard when contacted by the journalist and is not used to answering media queries. He was mistaken in thinking that his accountant was away. The auditors have met with us and confirm the following details regarding our accounts.

“The charity is an association and has a registered charity number (as per the above) but is moving to a company limited by guarantee structure which was a legal requirement to purchase the property. The CLG company is in the process of seeking charity status and is working with the Charity Regulator to finalise same.  This process can take some time hence the charity is still operating as an association until this process is completed.”

The board said the organisation has taken a decision to create a website to highlight its work and activities.

“We hope this will be launched as soon as is possible in the new year.  It will be an excellent facility to show the work of our wonderful and very necessary volunteers,” it said.

“We are regulated by the charity regulator and can assure the public that the accounts and our charity status is operated meticulously to best practice standards. We intend to continue to provide this important service to the regions of Donegal and the patients who depend on this bus service for their vital cancer treatment.”