A new charity organisation has been launched this morning which aims to restore public trust and confidence in the sector.
Several organisations have faced a significant drop in donations following a number of scandals in recent months.
The new body - Charities Institute Ireland - has been formed through the merger of Fundraising Ireland and the Irish Charities Tax Reform Group (ICTR) and represents more than 180 of Ireland’s main charities including the Irish Cancer Society, Concern Worldwide and the Society of St Vincent De Paul.
Speaking at the official launch of the new group this morning, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said the effective regulation of the charity sector is “an absolute priority” for the government.
“Fraud, theft and dishonesty - in this sector of all sectors - must not be tolerated. There can be no excuses for deliberately deceitful or illegal conduct,” she said.
“The public must have confidence that the money they donate to a charity will be managed and used correctly at all times.
“Anything less is a betrayal of the goodwill of thousands of people around the country and of the taxpayer.”
She said Ireland has “long enjoyed a proud and noble reputation” for giving to those in need and added that effective regulation is needed to “ensure that the various scandals that have arisen in the sector do not arise in the future.”
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Lucy Masterson - the CEO of the new body - said accountability will be key for charities moving forward.