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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Co-founder of LGBT charity resigns, says he received support worth €11.5k but paid funds back

Kieran Rose said he should have made the board aware of the arrangement at the time.

ONE OF THE founders of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) has stepped down from the board, after it emerged in recent days that the group was under review from the Charities Regulator.

The resignation of Kieran Rose comes swiftly after executive director Áine Duggan stepped down from her post on Sunday.

In a statement, Rose said that he was leaving his post because there was an aspect of the financial support that Glen provided him in 2016 that was causing a “distraction to the work” of the charity.

Rose said that a number of concerns had been raised concerning funds given to him by Glen, but said that this money was used to support his running for the Seanad last year.

“Glen provided temporary supports to me during my campaign,” he said.

These equated to €11,500 (approximately), which I repaid to Glen. At no point was there any reason on my part not to disclose this and any breach of regulations that may have occurred was completely inadvertent.

He added that he regretted that this “arrangement has contributed to recent controversy”.

In Rose’s statement, he also said that he offered his resignation as co-chair of the board in December, as he realised that he should have made the board aware of the financial support he was receiving from the charity at the time.

At the time, however, the board asked him if he would remain.

In a separate statement this evening, Glen confirmed the use of funds to support Rose’s Seanad campaign was done without the knowledge of the board.

The charity said it “accepts that the use of such funds was in breach of good governance”.

In a statement earlier this week, the board at Glen said that it was confident that “all grants received have been used for the intended purpose and has no reason to suspect there has been any misappropriation of funds”.

It had emerged that the regulator has requested Glen to provide it with details of all credit cards used by board members, staff and volunteers, and any expenditure on them since 2014.

Despite the group saying that it did not believe funds had been misappropriated, it said that “new financial procedures to enhance [their] administrative systems including the appointment of specialist accountants” had been put in place.

However, speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the outgoing executive director Áine Duggan said: “I would like to be able to stand up and say, ‘I can absolutely one hundred percent stand over a statement that there was no misappropriation’, unfortunately I can’t.

Nobody can, and that’s why the audit is so important and I think that it’s really important that we let the audit run its course. The reason we brought in independent auditors was to assert that for us and my hope is that when their work is done they will be able to assert that firmly for us.

She said that there were transactions of up to €60,000 not recorded in company accounts.

Read: Transactions worth €60k ‘not recorded correctly’ in accounts of LGBT charity

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