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Open Letter from our CEO about the recent charity scandals

Published 12/07/2016

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Eamon Timmins, Age Action's Chief Executive Officer, has written to our members, supporters and volunteers in recent days about the recent scandals in the Irish charity sector. Here is Eamon's letter.

Eamon Timmins, CEO, Age Action

Dear supporter,  

I am writing to you amid the current controversy over governance issues at a number of Irish charities. There is a danger that all charities, including Age Action, could be hurt by the fall-out.

Age Action greatly values the trust that you – our members, volunteers, supporters and the general public  place in us. We are always conscious of our responsibility, our duty, to repay that trust.

We are committed to running Age Action in a manner that is transparent, that is ethical and that does not simply meet standards of good governance, but surpasses them.

Our 2015 annual report was published last month, following approval by members at our AGM.  It contains our audited accounts. These show where every cent of our funding came from, how we spent it, and the impact of our work.  The annual report is available here.

Our internal accounts are regularly reviewed and scrutinised by the Finance and Audit Committee of our Board, and examined by the full Board every quarter.  Our annual accounts are independently audited by Mazars, one of Ireland’s leading financial services companies, before being presented to our members for approval.

Age Action’s Board members are all volunteers and receive no payment for being directors. Our staff and volunteers are Garda vetted. There is no bonus scheme, there are no company cars and there are no special pension arrangements.  

The current controversy surrounding other charities is deeply frustrating.   However, we need to take the opportunity to highlight the checks and controls which exist within Age Action and to reassure you of our commitment to run a well-managed, transparent, charity.

Once again, we cherish the trust which you place in us.  Without your trust, without your continued support, we could not work to help older people, and all of us who hope to grow older in Ireland.

If you have any queries or concerns about Age Action’s work please do not hesitate to contact me by emailing ceo@ageaction.ie or by letter.

Thank you for your continuing trust and support.

Yours sincerely,

Eamon Timmins

Chief Executive

Age Action Ireland
30/31 Lower Camden Street
Dublin 2
D02 EC96

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Pension Inequality Firmly on the Election 2020 Campaign Agenda

Age Action joined the SIPTU led coalition of non-governmental organisations for the launch of the STOP67 campaign in Dublin today (Thursday, 23rd January) which aims to halt the increase of the state pension age for workers to 67 from next year in order to address inequalities in the pension system.

Speaking at the formal campaign launch in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, said: “STOP67 is the SIPTU campaign to stop the increase of the state pension age to 67 on 1st January, 2021.

“SIPTU representatives are not surprised this is a major general election issue. We have been hearing from our members since the abolition of the transitional pension scheme in 2014 about the difficulties that the retirement gap has been causing for workers. This includes the absolute indignity of people coming up to 65 years of age who are expecting to get their pension and having to sign on the dole.”

National Women’s Council of Ireland Director, Orla O’Connor, said: “This is a core issue for women. Women rely on the state pension for the vast majority of their income in older age. So, anything that impacts on state pensions disproportionally impacts on women.”

Age Action Chief Executive, Paddy Connolly, said: “This campaign is not only about stopping the rise of the pension age to 67 but also the creation of a stakeholder forum which will consider issues such as finances, age discrimination and others that effect people in their retirement.”

Active Retirement Ireland chief executive, Maureen Kavanagh, said: “Ireland has the youngest population but the highest prospective retirement age in the EU. We are not under the demographic pressure of other countries. Retirement is a great part of life but it has to be voluntary, flexible and appropriate. We can’t force people out of a job that they love, or to stay in their job.”

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to make clear their position on the pensions issue.

He added: “All the other political parties are supporting the ‘STOP67’ campaign. The big two parties must make their position clear.”