Console saga could damage other charities

By Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Published 09/07/2016 | 00:00

'For those presently availing of the services of Console, it will be upsetting, since counselling for any set of problems involves forming a trusting, confiding and respectful relationship with the counsellor'
'For those presently availing of the services of Console, it will be upsetting, since counselling for any set of problems involves forming a trusting, confiding and respectful relationship with the counsellor'

I'm certain that I'm not alone in my disgust at the recent Console revelations and the more I read about it the more shocking the whole thing is.

Like many others, I am at a loss to understand how such a level of spending was allowed to continue unquestioned. For years and years funds granted and donated to the charity were used to fund the lavish lifestyles of its bosses thereby breaking the trust of all those who fund-raised, donated and supported the work of Console.

What is so sickening is that these revelations have somewhat muddied the waters for so many other charities which operate in a proper and transparent fashion.

Equally, those who worked and volunteered for Console must surely feel cheated and humiliated by the conduct of the organisation's bosses.

Cases such as this do absolutely nothing to boost public confidence in charity organisations and this will probably show in the coming years as people doubt where their donations might go.

Nobody who takes time to fund raise for a cause they believe in wants to have a shred of doubt that the money will go to the correct place, and help people as they want it to.

To think that anyone could use funds meant to help vulnerable people, to buy designer clothes, top of the range cars and lavish holidays is sickening.

How could you take any enjoyment from such ill-gotten gains and how could such vulgar spending not be questioned?

While such spending should never have happened in the first place, the question of accountability and regulation must also be raised.

If accounts were altered then why was this not detected, and given the level of HSE and government funding, shouldn't a closer eye have been kept on the suicide charity.

There isn't any doubt that Console has done some outstanding work within this country, however all this good will be forever tarnished by what has happened.

Suicide is such a scourge and there has never been a bigger need for organisations but if they are not run properly then what hope is there for the charity sector?

I'm sure the hundreds of properly run and accountable Irish charities must be extremely concerned by what has emerged and about the impact it might have on the generosity of a public that has been scorned.

Wexford People

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