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Thread: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Hang on CF- I have found an entry in 'Company Search Environment' for An Taisce .. whats it doing there?

    According to An Taisce's website it seems to be a charity as there is a note on the 'Help Us' section of the website which says ...

    * Both PAYE and Self-Assessed taxpayers can claim deductions from the Office of Revenue for charitable donations. However if you are a PAYE taxpayer and give more than €250 in one year, as a charity An Taisce can also claim an additional amount from the Office of Revenue of up to 69.5% of the value of your original donation.'

    http://www.antaisce.ie/Default.aspx?...ie/fundraising



    **************.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 06-08-2010 at 04:54 PM.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Con O'Sullivan View Post
    Hang on CF- I have found an entry in 'Company Search Environment' for An Taisce .. whats it doing there?

    According to An Taisce's website it seems to be a charity as there is a note on the 'Help Us' section of the website which says ...

    * Both PAYE and Self-Assessed taxpayers can claim deductions from the Office of Revenue for charitable donations. However if you are a PAYE taxpayer and give more than €250 in one year, as a charity An Taisce can also claim an additional amount from the Office of Revenue of up to 69.5% of the value of your original donation.'

    http://www.antaisce.ie/Default.aspx?...ie/fundraising

    This would be highly illegal in the UK- I know that for a fact. They are basically operating financially as a private company and still managing to claim charitable status ... there are six charities in the UK who have been busted over this kind of thing in recent months.

    **************.
    In Ireland to the best of my memory a Company can also be a Charitable Trust. Ah = here's some info. - http://www.evangelical.ie/docs/Charitable_Status.DOC

    This is a question that could perfectly simply be answered by An Taisce. I tried ringing but just got a machine.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 06-08-2010 at 03:56 PM.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    This thread was put out of view for half an hour. Kingkane sent me the info visible on the CRO search that he would have liked to post here.

    I think everyone is now clear that An Taisce's filing records are available there to view and if anyone wants to pay can be purchased from the CRO.ie site.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    This problem with accounts is not a new phenomenon with An Taisce:

    An Taisce Chairman answers attacks – Grants accounted for
    The Irish Times - 20 March 1970

    "At the annual general meeting in Dublin last night of An Taisce, the Irish National Trust, its chairman Mr. Joseph McCullough, referred to the attacks which had been made upon it from the Government benches in the Dail and asked: “What is the real reason behind these speeches? Why should An Taisce be the subject of attack by the Minister and his backbencher colleagues, since much of what has been said has all the appearance of being calculated to damage our organisation?”

    "Mr. McCullough was referring to the prolonged criticisms made last week by the Minister for Local Government, Mr Boland, and to the queries raised about An Taisce’s finances on Wednesday by Mr. Joe Dowling, T.D. Mr Dowling had suggested that Government grants to An Taisce should be reconsidered, because its accounts had been found to be out of order."

    You can see some of the very interesting historical Dail debates on the issue here:
    http://www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie...003180031.html

    Even their own members have publicly called for investigations in the past:

    "The former chairman of An Taisce, Michael Smith, has called for an explanation of how the impression was given out that the organisation was in financial crisis. Calling on An Taisce to launch an internal investigation, he said Price Waterhouse Cooper’s audited accounts showed an accurate and truthful position for 2003, the year he was chairman, which was financially positive." - Irish Times - 19 June 2003
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...274497645.html

    I think they are a limited company, that is also a registered charity.
    Last edited by Anti-Coalition; 06-08-2010 at 05:13 PM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Quote Originally Posted by disability student View Post
    They must be doing something good when FF and FG attacks them.
    I think DS has a point here.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I think DS has a point here.
    Perhaps, except I know a good few An Taisce members are also members of Fine Gael - Could be a Team Enda issue ;P

    I think Fianna Fail members are automatically excluded - once the background checks are completed.

    I love some of these quotes from 2003 Irish Times:

    "Dictatorial, inhuman, devoid of feeling, like the British landlords in the days of Ireland under Westminster rule. Those are the less sensational elements of the onslaught on An Taisce by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture and Food last week. Arrogant, elitist, and undemocratic are the more restrained accusations hurled at the environmental charity at rural meetings. Three years ago Michael Healy-Rae, the Kerry county councillor, liked it to the Klu-Klux Klan, “wanting us to live like rats on top of eachother.”
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...048848913.html
    It would almost make you want to love An Taisce, just because Fianna Fail hate them so much...but its not that simple at all...
    Last edited by Anti-Coalition; 06-08-2010 at 05:31 PM.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    I can certainly see the CRO submissions for An Taisce.

    While I disagree with the stance of An Taisce on a number of issues, were we to stand-down every individual and company in receipt of donations .......... I suspect we would be starting with a large number of Councillors.

  8. #38
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti-Coalition View Post
    Perhaps, except I know a good few An Taisce members are also members of Fine Gael - Could be a Team Enda issue ;P

    I think Fianna Fail members are automatically excluded - once the background checks are completed.

    I love some of these quotes from 2003 Irish Times:
    "Dictatorial, inhuman, devoid of feeling, like the British landlords in the days of Ireland under Westminster rule. Those are the less sensational elements of the onslaught on An Taisce by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture and Food last week. Arrogant, elitist, and undemocratic are the more restrained accusations hurled at the environmental charity at rural meetings. Three years ago Michael Healy-Rae, the Kerry county councillor, liked it to the Klu-Klux Klan, “wanting us to live like rats on top of eachother.”
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...048848913.html
    It would almost make you want to love An Taisce, just because Fianna Fail hate them so much...but its not that simple at all...
    I think to quote a member of the above mentioned family, following what seems like a misleading earlier accusation, cld possibly be seen as desperate.

    Then there's a curious changre here

    "An Taisce is a limited company,****************** as is shown by the legal notice in the Irish Times, published upon their establishment:
    "
    which when examined becomes:

    "I think they are a limited company, that is also a registered charity."
    Last edited by C. Flower; 06-08-2010 at 06:56 PM.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Except that in Ireland there is no such thing as a 'registered' charity. 'Registered' with whom?

    The legislation to set up a regulator was enacted in February 2009, a few media articles came out which said basically now things are going to be different. As far as I can see the Charities Regulatory Authority of Ireland which was the official name for the regulator being bruited abroad never got off the ground.

    There is no website. I cannot find any mention of a secretariat although I did see one media report that it would be set up in stages over two years. Anybody hear anything about the birth of this regulatory body?

    To emphasise there is NO official regulator for charities in Ireland which is absolutely astonishing and there can therefore be no such thing as a 'registered' charity.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    A limited company that is a registered charity ... I wonder do any of the international funding organisations realise that they may be granting funds to a legal entity that is a Limited Company?

    I know there are four different types of organisation in Irish law in this area and I'll take a look at this a little later on- I would be very interested to check what status is declared on the report and accounts and will buy the PDF just to check this where An Taisce are concerned.

    I know they declare themselves to be a 'charity' on their website as they say they have the benefit of Revenue rules on that status. It would be extraordinary if Irish charities could claim this kind of benefit when they MAY be Limited Companies ********************
    Last edited by C. Flower; 11-08-2010 at 03:20 PM.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Con O'Sullivan View Post
    The reason I am interested in this is not because I have any beef with An Taisce as such- its just that I have a creepy feeling I know how this blurred legal entity issue may have arisen.
    Here you go, Captain Con - How an Irish Company can obtain "Charitable Status"
    http://www.companyformations.ie/comp...itable-status/

    It may be relevant also that An Taisce is a prescribed body under the Planning Acts.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Bar View Post
    I think to quote a member of the above mentioned family, following what seems like a misleading earlier accusation, cld possibly be seen as desperate.

    Then there's a curious changre here

    "An Taisce is a limited company,*********************, as is shown by the legal notice in the Irish Times, published upon their establishment:
    "
    which when examined becomes:

    "I think they are a limited company, that is also a registered charity."
    What's so curious? They are a limited company, a charity, and NOT a trust.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 06-08-2010 at 06:58 PM.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    Thanks CF. Here is the relevant extract from that link;


    'Generally the organisation would incorporate as a Company Limited by Guarantee prior to the application.

    A charity is defined as an organisation whose aims are exclusively charitable i.e. they come under one of the following definitions of charity:

    The relief of poverty
    The advancement of education
    The advancement of religion
    Other purposes of a charitable nature beneficial to the community '

    I'm dropping this in as this seems to be the legal status definition which may be handy for reference later on.

    So if for example I could come up with activities by any organisation which claims it is a 'charity' but is operating as a political lobbying organisation or for example has a very high proportion of its costs going out to the appointed officers of the charity as salaries then would it not call into question that organisation's charitable status?

    If for example that hypothetical charity were found to be accepting donations from private industry in order to lobby government on behalf of that private concern would that not mean it would be breaching two of the major conditions of charitable status?
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    I believe Ireland does have registered charities, since the introduction of the Charities Act 2009, which tightened up regulation of this area:
    http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/b...2009/a0609.pdf

    Section 40. is entitled: "Certain charitable organisations deemed to be registered for purposes of Act."

    Section 41 is entitled: "Offence for unregistered charitable organisation to carry on activities in State.

    Is An Taisce registered? I don't see a number on their web site, like I have seen on others.

    The Definitions section of the Act states:

    “registered charitable organisation” means—
    (a) a charitable organisation that is registered in the register,
    or
    (b) a charitable organisation that, by virtue of section 40, is deemed to be registered in the register;

    Section 40 give the grounds for exemption:

    40.—(1) A charitable organisation in respect of which—
    (a) there was, immediately before the commencement of section 39, an entitlement to an exemption under section 207 or 208 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, and
    (b) the Revenue Commissioners had issued a number (commonly referred to as a “CHY number”) for the purposes of such exemption, shall, subject to section 44, be deemed to be registered in the register for so long only as there continues to be an entitlement to such exemption.
    Last edited by Anti-Coalition; 06-08-2010 at 07:01 PM.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Cllr calls for An Taisce to be 'stood down' pending inquiry into its affairs

    I believe the idea behind the enacted February 2009 legislation was to bring in a regulatory body to take over any supervisory obligation on the part of the Revenue Commissioners.

    The new body was even granted a name - the Charities Regulatory Authority- except it doesn't exist as far as I am aware and I don't think has been giving out registration numbers to any charities.

    In the case of An Taisce specifically it has text on its website under 'Help Us' section saying it is a 'charity' but does not say a 'registered charity'.

    And then in Companies House we see it is defined as a company. I'll get that report and accounts to 31 Dec 2009 and see what it says in there. If its a company as a legal entity it will have to carry a VAT number or registered office or some kind of declaration.

    I'm quite curious about these accounts and would like to assess how much they grant per year and see what their running costs are as a percentage of turnover etc ...
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

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