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Funds raised through Pyjama Day withheld from Irish Autism Action

Early Childhood Ireland is withholding funds raised for the charity until further notice.

Image: Shutterstock/Nejron Photo

THE EARLY CHILDHOOD development organisation that helped raise €300,000 in aid of Irish Autism Action (IAA) is withholding the funds from the charity, it has been announced.

In a statement published on their website, Early Childhood Ireland has said that it is withholding funds raised on National Pyjama Day this year until assurances can be given on how the funds will be used.

This comes after IAA’s CEO Brian Murnane was forced to admit the charity has received over €600,000 from the government – despite previous claims that it receives “no state funding”.

After an investigation by the Irish Independent, it was discovered that the IAA had received grants from various government departments, including at least €678,066 from the Department of the Environment (DoE) between 2008 and 2014.

In their statement, Early Childhood Development said:

We met with IAA on 13th July, putting a number of serious questions to them. We raised questions about sustainability, governance, leadership, organisational expertise, among others. We have informed IAA that we will be discussing the matter at our next Board meeting and have requested a clear breakdown of monies spent from PJ Day 2015.

“We also made it clear to IAA that none of the funds raised via PJ Day 2016 will be handed over until we get assurances regarding their financial situation, their sustainability and their ability to deliver on their proposal for this money.”

In March of this year 62,000 children took part in the fundraiser by wearing their pyjamas into their crèche or preschool, and money was also raised through a text-based initiative.

PyjamaDayDonation1 Last year's cheque which was awarded to Irish Autism Action. Source: Fennell Photography

Last year funds raised through National Pyjama Day supported IAA training courses across the country, and were attended by over 700 participants. Funds were also raised that year in aid of an information website and IAA’s Step Ahead programme.

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