This story in today’s Irish Independent (Saturday 18th November) pertains to an audit covering the period 2008 – 2015.
While we are precluded from commenting in detail on the process at this time, as it is not yet finalised and an investigation is currently underway by the Gardaí, we can confirm that the circumstances surrounding the sale of a property in Spain that was bequeathed to the hospice was a central focus of the audit. The Board of Directors had given authority to the then Head of Finance to manage the property.
As soon as this issue was raised with the CEO and the Board of Directors of OLH & CS, an independent external investigation was launched as we were concerned that the sale did not produce the expected benefit. The Board of Directors also reported its concerns to all the relevant authorities – the Gardaí, the Charities Regulator and the HSE and we have co-operated fully with them.
The staff member involved was dismissed by Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services.
The Board of Directors and the senior management of OLH & CS apologise unreservedly for the shortcomings outlined in the audit. We are sorry that we did not have more robust financial processes in place to prevent any such issue arising. OLH & CS has introduced a suite of financial policies including a robust bequest and legacy policy with checks and balances to improve our financial procedures and ensure best practices.
Our primary concern at all times is the needs and care of our residents, patients and their families. We are grateful for the support we receive from everybody who is associated with OLH & CS – our residents and patients, their families, our fundraising supporters, our staff and volunteers and the general public.
Media contacts are:
- Eleanor Flew, Director of Fundraising and Communications, 087 931 1307, 01 4911 072, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carina O’Neill, Communications Manager, 087 4146363, 01 4911 072, email@example.com