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Rehab Group call on Justice Minister to withdraw €9k profit remarks

During a debate on the Charities Bill last night, Minister Alan Shatter revealed that the scheme made just €9,000 profit despite €3 million worth of sales.

Minister Alan Shatter
Minister Alan Shatter
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 9.27am

CLOSE TO €4 million worth of Rehab lottery scratch cards sales earned just €9,452 profit in 2010, the Justice Minister revealed last night.

He has since come under fire from Rehab Group, who are calling on him to withdraw the “unacceptable” remarks.

Speaking in the Dáil during a motion on an amendment on the Charities Bill, Minister Alan Shatter noted that during the same period, similar sales of Rehab Bingo sales earned over €500,000 .

The details came as part of an explanation on the winding up of the Rehab lottery scatchcard scheme, where the Minister cited reasons such as it encouraged “inefficient fundraising practices and high administration costs” and that it created “an incentive to run a charitable lottery at a low profit margin or at a loss”.

“It is important to charities and their donors alike that fundraising efforts are run in a business-like and efficient manner and that the maximum possible proportion of funds raised is used to support charitable activities,” he said.

Rehab Group has branded the Minister’s comments as “unacceptable” and “outrageous”, as they say the matter is sub judice.

They added that the information was misleading and have called on Minister Shatter to withdraw his comments and apologise.

“This was no accident,” they said.

The Minister’s attempt to influence improperly matters that are sub judice was done on the pretext of commenting on an act already adopted by the Dail several years ago.

Of the €9,452 profit, €3,969,000 was earned, prizes were worth €2,611,000 and costs were €1,348,000, the Minister said.

The scheme is now being wound down gradually, with funding being withdrawn completely in 2016.

Minister Shatter ended his speech by emphasising the importance of restoring the public’s trust in Ireland’s charitable sector, and that it needed ‘clear leadership’.

“Our foremost charities must lead by example and demonstrate through their own actions that there is no place in Ireland’s charity sector for poor governance or a lack of transparency,” he said.

He called them on them to make ‘what becomes of their charitable donations’ clear to the public.

Originally published 8.02am

Read: Oxfam, Focus and Garda Trust all benefit from €2m ‘Poor Box’ fund >

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Nicky Ryan

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