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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Charities regulator had "no choice" but to prosecute soup kitchen owner

Oliver Williams was prosecuted for misrepresenting Twist Charity as a charitable organisation.

Image: Shutterstock/SpeedKingz

THE CHARITIES REGULATOR said it had “no choice” but to prosecute a man who ran a chain of soup kitchens, saying that he misrepresented the business as a charity.

The Charities Regulator secured a prosecution against Oliver Williams from Co Galway in relation to Twist Charity.

The regulator said that Williams was prosecuted under the Charities Act, 2009 for misrepresenting Twist Charity as a registered charitable organisation, when this is not the case.

He was also prosecuted for advertising, requesting and accepting donations for an unregistered charitable organisation.

In late January, the Sligo Twist charity shop and soup kitchen were ordered to close due to the prosecution.

“I have taken this action to protect the public and all properly registered charities,” said Farrelly.

In this case, Mr Williams had never registered this or any of his businesses as charities but was taking money from the public on the basis that he was operating a charity. As regulator I had no choice but to prosecute.

The regulator said it is “mindful of the beneficiaries of the organisation and is working with a local charity to ensure that any necessary support is available to them”.

“We will continue to apply the law without fear or favour in order to protect the good work of the thousands of good people in registered charities throughout Ireland,” Farrelly stated.

The prosecution comes a result of work conducted by regulator’s compliance unit in November and December last year.

Williams received a suspended sentence, RTÉ reports.

It received concerns about the operation of Twist Charity and looked into the matter, before the case was heard in Sligo District Court under presiding Judge Kilraine.

The Register of Charities is publicly available through, so any member of the public can confirm whether they are dealing with a real charity.

Concerns about an organisation can be raised with the regulator by calling the concerns phone line on 01 6331550 or by emailing

All concerns received will be dealt with in confidence subject to any legal
duty of disclosure, said the regulator.

Read: Over 100,000 people who work in Ireland are still living in poverty>

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