Public gives nine times more to charity

The public is giving nine times more than the State to a leading charity for seriously ill children — a development the group says reveals Government’s shoddy attitude to the service.

Jack and Jill Foundation CEO Jonathan Irwin revealed the situation after recent concerns over the finances of Irish charities.

Speaking after Barnardos confirmed it is closing its doors for a week, Mr Irwin said financial problems are increasingly apparent across private support groups.

The campaigner — whose group helps to support 300 young children with serious or terminal conditions — praised the public for donating €36m to the foundation since 1997.

However, he hit out at the €4m in State funds provided during the same period — a figure nine times less than that donated by private citizens.

“There are two tiers in charities in Ireland. There’s an awful lot of us who get virtually nothing,” he said.

“Then there’s a lot of charities, let’s say the Brothers of Charity, get €164m a year, yet they’re fully funded and registered as a charity. The HSE is a registered charity.

“Our 300 babies rely entirely on the €36m. We’ve only had €4m from the Government. That’s pretty shocking.”

The comments were made as it emerged that the Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, is due to meet with the family of severely ill Tipperary boy JJ Ryan today over the ongoing problems in guaranteeing State support for the child.

The five-year-old, from Scallagheen, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is profoundly deaf, unable to speak, and was born with a hole in his heart.

Since his case was revealed by the Irish Examiner last autumn the HSE was meant to take up responsibility for his care from the Jack and Jill Foundation.

However, he is still on the books of the charity.


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