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LGBT charity exec resigns as regulator launches finance probe

Nick Duffy April 17, 2017

A prominent LGBT charity is facing a probe from Ireland’s charities regulator.

GLEN, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, is one of the most prominent LGBT organisations in Ireland, and played a key role during the country’s equal marriage referendum.

However, the charity has been thrown into disarray this week, after allegations of financial mismanagement led to a Charities Regulator probe.

The NGO says it referred itself to the body over concerns were raised about whether it breached rules on the use the charity resources to support political campaigning.

According to the Irish Times there are also concerns over “alleged poor corporate governance, a lack of internal controls and proper separation of duties”, while the group’s credit cards “may have been used for private purchases, with the money being reimbursed later”.

GLEN has also apparently appointed an external investigator to examine allegations of bullying made by staff.

Amid the controversy, the charity’s Executive Director Áine Duggan has resigned.

Ms Duggan had only joined the charity in September.

A statement from the GLEN board said: “The board of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) confirms that we have received a request from the Charities Regulator for information regarding the governance of the organisation.

“This arises from a request to the regulator for guidance following an internal review. The request was made on the instructions of the board of GLEN, which is fully cooperating with the regulator. The process is ongoing and we will work with the regulator to implement any recommended changes in our procedures.

“The board and staff of GLEN have always been mindful of our statutory obligations. The board is satisfied that all grants received have been used for the intended purpose and has no reason to suspect there has been any misappropriation of funds.

“Notwithstanding this we have also put in place new financial procedures to enhance our administrative systems including the appointment of specialist accountants.”

It continues: “Áine Duggan, Executive Director. has decided to resign her post. The board acknowledges the contribution to our internal review.

“We will be making an interim appointment following the departure of the current Executive Director.

“We are grateful to our partners and to the agencies who continue to support our work and look forward to working together in the future.

“Notwithstanding the result of the Marriage Equality referendum and progressive social change in recent years there is still a need for a well-resourced, ambitious national organisation and our focus in the coming months will be the ongoing development of GLEN.”

More: Charity, Europe, GLEN, Ireland, Ireland, LGBT

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