A LETTERKENNY cancer charity has hit back at questions over its financial dealings.
The Good and New Cancer Charity was the focus of a report in a national newspaper which claimed the organisation had accrued profits of €400,000 in the past two years.
The charity has described the article as “disappointing” and said that any suggestions of financial impropriety were totally false. Good and New added that in interests of transparency it now plans to set up a website to document the work that it does. They also said their accounts were open to scrutiny just like any other charity.
“It is with disappointment and huge concern that we read the article in the Sunday Times on December 17 and the questions raised within it regarding the operations and finances of the Good and New Shop charity,” said a spokesperson.
“The charity operates a desperately needed bus service for cancer patients travelling to Galway and has (until the end of 2016) carried 713 people (approximately eight to ten trips per person) to treatment facilities not available in Donegal.
“We are keen to address the issues raised and want to ensure our good reputation is not tarnished in anyway so we can continue to provide this vital service.
“Our chairman was taken off guard when contacted by the journalist and is not used to answering media queries. He was mistaken in thinking that his accountant was away. The auditors have met with us and confirm the following details regarding our accounts.
“The figure of €400k mentioned in the article was from accounts filed in November 2016. It was our intention to build up this reserve which would be used to purchase a building in early 2017 (cost in the region of €270K incl legal fees, renovation, etc) to run the organisation from. This was completed in early 2017.
“Hence there was a surplus of funds on the balance sheet that the article referred to for this purpose. The rest of the cash is on the balance sheet. We, like most charities, aim to keep funds of up to two years running costs in the organisation, to ensure a continued service for the charity. This is standard practice within charities nationwide and our auditors can verify that the funds are there for this purpose.
“The charity is an association and has a registered charity number but is moving to a company limited by guarantee structure which was a legal requirement to purchase the property. The CLG company is in the process of seeking charity status and is working with the Charity Regulator to finalise same. This process can take some time hence the charity is still operating as an association until this process is completed.
“The organisation has, today, taken a decision to create a website for The Good and New Shop which will highlight the work and the activities of the organisation. We hope this will be launched as soon as is possible in the New Year. It will be an excellent facility to show the work of our wonderful and very necessary volunteers.
“We are regulated by the charity regulator and can assure the public that the accounts and our charity status is operated meticulously to best practice standards. We intend to continue to provide this important service to the regions of Donegal and the patients who depend on this bus service for their vital cancer treatment.”