Our principal Deirdre Kiely has been appointed by Minister for Justice Equality & Law Reform, Mrs Frances Fitzgerald, as a member of the Charity Appeals Tribunal, for a five-year term commencing on 1 August 2016. The establishment of the Charity Appeals Tribunal was provided for under Part 5 of the Charities Act, 2009.
The Charity Appeals Tribunal should be a speedy and inexpensive mechanism for appealing decisions of the Charities Regulatory Authority. The Tribunal will hear appeals of decisions made by the Charities Regulatory Authority to refuse to register a body applying for registration or a decision to remove a charity from the Register of Charities without the involvement of the High Court. The Authority will be bound by the decisions of the Tribunal. A decision of the Tribunal may be appealed to the High Court on a point of law.
Deirdre has always had a keen interest in the Charity and Not for Profit sector. She understands the charity regulatory environment and participated in a working group with the Charities Regulatory Authority dealing with the charity accounting and reporting regulations. She has first-hand practical experience of the sector and is a board member and audit committee chair of the Social Finance Foundation. She is a past board member and audit committee chair of Barnardos and has also served as acting finance director with Barnardos. She is vice president and council member of CPA Ireland. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) and Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). She has an honours degree and masters in law from University College Cork. She is a qualified Barrister and qualified financial adviser. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and an accredited mediator with Mediation Forum Ireland.
The Tribunal has five members, two of whom are required to be retired judges or lawyers with at least ten years’ experience. The other members of the Tribunal are Mr Bill Holohan, Solicitor, Mr. Patrick O’Connor, Solicitor, Ms. Carol Fawsitt, Solicitor and Ms. Karen Smyth Charities Activist.