herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Roche charity's chiefs pay €150k to cover losses

Adi Roche. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Adi Roche. Picture: Steve Humphreys

A NUMBER of directors at Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children's charity dipped into their pockets to give the charity €150,000 amid worsening finances.

Losses at what is one of Ireland's best-known charities top €1.3m for the past two years as donations have plummeted.

The directors of the charity who gave the €150,000 are not named in the financial statements – the board is made up of eight that includes Ms Roche, Ali Hewson and former Government minister Liz O'Donnell.

In 2011, the charity recorded the largest loss in its 22-year history, at €676,555. Last year the losses were not far behind at €664,786.

The losses came as donations at the charity continued to dip sharply – donations dropped by 25pc, down from €2.53m to €1.9m in the 12 months to the end of January 31 this year.

The fall last year followed donations dropping by 30pc in 2011 from €3.6m to €2.53m – the fall in donations represents just under a halving of funding in two years.

The directors' report attached to the accounts says that "in view of the deficit incurred in the last two financial years, the board has taken steps to curtail programme expenditure and administrative expenses in the current year".

DISASTER

The loss last year continued to eat into the charity's reserves – the charity's cash last year declined from €2.1m to €1.5m – at the start of 2011, the charity's cash totalled €2.84m.

Since the establishment of CCI, more than €92m in direct and indirect medical and humanitarian aid has been delivered to the Chernobyl-affected regions and over 22,500 children have been brought to Ireland for much-needed recuperative holidays.

The charity was established in response to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster – the register of the Companies Registration Office shows that there are 23 separate companies established to raise funds for victims of the disaster.

The accounts to the end of January 2011 confirmed that two anonymous donors gave €500,000 each to the charity that year with a third donating the €250,000 proceeds from the sale of a home in a legacy.

However, none of these donations have been repeated in the last two years.

The loss last year coincided with swingeing cuts to the charity's employment costs.

The numbers working at the charity last year reduced from 24 to 22 with staff costs reducing by 35pc from €419,614 to €274,684.

The figures show that money donations fell by 19pc from €1.73m to €1.4m with aid in kind decreasing by 37pc from €799,047 to €499,585.

Yesterday, the charity's founder and chief executive, Adi Roche was in Belarus and was unavailable for comment.

hnews@herald.ie

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