herald

Thursday 27 April 2017

'I agonised whether to stage Goal Mile event this year' - TD

Walk organiser Alan Farrell TD
Walk organiser Alan Farrell TD

Organisers of the annual 'Goal' Mile event considered pulling the popular event this year following the controversy surrounding the embattled charity.

However, the event - which takes place in Malahide each Christmas Day - is set to go ahead following discussions with charity bosses.

It will now enter its 10th year, having already raised more than €33,000 for charity.

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell, who organises the event each year, admitted he considered whether the recent controversy would spell the end of the walk.

Reputation

Earlier this year it emerged the Department of Foreign Affairs had withheld millions of euro in funding from Goal following allegations of fraud.

The charity has been accused of a bribery scandal involving its multi-million-euro operation in Syria.

Goal has now embarked on rebuilding both its reputation and standing in the eyes of the public.

The charity's chief executive Barry Andrews announced he was stepping down as part of this process.

In October, the embattled charity appointed Celine Fitzgerald as its general manager following the resignation of Mr Andrews.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Farrell admitted that he "agonised" over whether to stage the event for its 10th consecutive year.

He said it is a deeply rewarding walk for families and results in thousands of euro being raised for some of the world's poorest people.

Mr Farrell also said he is confident Goal will shortly be deemed to have conformed to best international practice.

"The annual Goal Mile event in Malahide, which is in its 10th year, provides an enjoyable way for local people to start their Christmas Day, while also raising vital funds for the important charitable work that Goal carries out," Mr Farrell said.

Donations

"Goal works with the poorest of the poor right across the world. In recent years, they have teams deployed in Syria, South Sudan and West Africa, to name but a few," the Dublin Fingal TD added.

The event in Malahide this year will take place on Christmas Day between 11am and noon, beginning at the rear car park of Malahide Castle, off the back road.

Donations can be made on the day or online at goal.ie.

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