Speaking after the news County Down charity at the centre of a BBC Northern Ireland investigation had gone out of business, Strangford Assembly Member Kieran McCarthy has renewed his call for a Northern Ireland Charity Commission.
Alderman McCarthy recently put a motion before Ards Borough Council urging the establishment of a Charity Commission in Northern Ireland.
This was agreed unanimously by Ards Council and, if acted upon by the Government, would bring Northern Ireland into line with England and Wales. The Charity Commission monitors the work of registered charities and can take action where there is improper use of public donations.
Ald. McCarthy said: “The general public here has a reputation for donating generously, not just to charities working for the disadvantaged locally, but also the disadvantaged overseas.
“After hearing that in the case of ‘International Child Care’, only five percent of contributions went to the children it was intended for, I was further appalled to learn that because of the poor state of the law in Northern Ireland, nothing illegal has occurred and no action can be taken against the people involved.
“To restore public trust and confidence in charities – and reputable charities would welcome this – I am urging the government to set up a Charity Commission in Northern Ireland, and I am delighted that Ards Borough Council adopted my resolution unanimously.”