Almost 700 charities removed from the Charities Register last year

The Charities Regulator received 531 concerns from the public

Almost 700 charities removed from the Charities Register last year

John Farrelly, CEO of the Charities Regulator, at 25 Fitzwilliam Place in Dublin in 2016 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Charities Regulator has revealed that the number of registered charities in Ireland rose to over 9,000 at the end of last year.

In its annual report, the regulator found that 1,757 charities were registered for the first time during 2017.

It said its third full year of operations was its busiest to date - with record activity levels in the areas of compliance, registration and guidance for charities.

There were 9,061 registered charities at the end of 2017, compared to 8,003 12 months previously.

In addition to the 1,757 charities registered for the first time during the year, 699 organisations had their details removed from the register.

The regulator received 531 individual concerns from the public in respect of 351 organisations during the year.

This was a 66% increase on the number of concerns received in 2016.

Three-quarters of the concerns related to financial control and transparency, the legitimacy of an organisation and governance issues.

Source: Charities Regulator

Charities Regulator Chief Executive John Farrelly said: "Where we receive a concern, we examine the information provided, conduct a risk assessment, and if warranted, seek assurances from the charity or organisation.

"Where the regulator cannot be assured by the charity, it uses its powers under the Charities Act 2009 to require information, make directions, apply sanctions and, where required, appoint inspectors to investigate the affairs of the charity."

Some 461 concerns were closed during 2017 - compared to 129 in 2016.

The Charities Regulator has also published three guidance documents and launched an e-learning tool to support charity trustees in their duty to run well governed and managed charities.

The key functions of the regulator are to increase public trust and confidence in the management and administration of charities, to ensure the accountability of charitable organisations to donors, beneficiaries and the public and to establish and maintain a public register of charitable organisations.

The full list of registered Irish charities can be accessed here

While members of the public can report a concern about a charity here