Oxfam Ireland and GOAL shelve merger plans

The two charities will instead 'work more closely together' on a number of projects

Oxfam Ireland and GOAL shelve merger plans

Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Plans to merge two of the country's best known charities - GOAL and Oxfam Ireland - have been shelved.

Talks got underway earlier this year, with the organisations arguing that "both parties believe [a merger] could achieve stronger results, save more lives and support more people to lift themselves out of poverty".

Following five months of talks, the charities have announced the merger will not go ahead, citing the complexities of a full merger.

However, the development charities have agreed to work more closely on programmes & projects with "significant areas of commonality".

In a joint statement, the charities said their boards' believe the organisations can continue making "a strong impact" as independent entities. 

Explaining the decision, Oxfam chief executive Jim Clarken observed: "While both our organisations will remain separate, the goodwill and understanding we have developed will ensure a mutually supportive relationship and we look forward to working closely together in the future.”

GOAL general manager Celine Fitzgerald added: “GOAL has, over the last five months, been hugely impressed by the shared commitment of Oxfam to supporting the world’s most vulnerable populations and our admiration and respect for the organisation has grown immeasurably."

GOAL was founded in 1977, while Oxfam has been operating in Ireland since the 1950s. The proposed merged organisation would have remained part of the global Oxfam confederation.