Legal seminar to help charity board members face 'significant challenges'

While Ireland is renowned for its charitable nature, trustees of charities have come under “considerable pressure” here in the last 12 months and faced some “significant challenges”, according to a senior counsel.

Paul McGarry, chairman of the Council of the Bar of Ireland, was speaking ahead of a legal seminar being run for board members of charities.

The Bar of Ireland and the Charities Regulator are holding a free seminar for charity secretaries and trustees on January 25, to provide them with information and training about their legal responsibilities as board members.

They will be covering topics such as good governance, the qualities of a good director, managing a crisis and legal obligations for board members under relevant legislation.

Mr McGarry said the seminar is about empowering charity workers.

“The charity sector has gone through enormous change and transformation in the last couple of years, so we are running this seminar to empower trustees and secretaries with the confidence and skills that they need to ensure that their chosen charities are operated in the most appropriate and efficient way,” he said.

Mr McGarry said that, through its voluntary assistance scheme, the Bar of Ireland does a lot of pro bono work with the charity sector and the seminar is part of that.

“We are very familiar with the dedication of their board members,” he said.

“Without them and their commitment, which is provided for the most part for no remuneration whatsoever, the charity sector could not survive, so we are running this seminar to assist them and support them in the very worthy and necessary work that they do.”

The seminar is being run in conjunction with the Charities Regulator, which was established in October 2014 under the Charities Act 2009.

The chief executive of the regulator, John Farrelly, said there are a lot of good people doing good work, who need to be supported.


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