Charities Act 2009: Further Provisions Commenced

Pat Carey TD, Minister of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, who has responsibility for the regulation of charities, has announced that he will be commencing two further sections of the Charities Act 2009.

Section 90 grants power to the courts, in the event of proceedings against a charity trustee, to grant relief to such trustees from personal liability for breach of trust, where it appears to the relevant court that the trustee acted honestly and reasonably.

Minister Carey said: “I am very conscious of the great good work carried out by many people who are charity trustees. Many dedicated people give of their time and energy in this way, and they are pivotal to the success of Ireland’s charities sector. However, there have been concerns over the current legal position in Ireland that charity trustees may in certain circumstances be personally liable for losses accruing to charities through their actions. This may serve to discourage persons from acting as charity trustees, so I am anxious to allay any such fears.”

Minister Carey continued: “I am very pleased therefore to be able to commence further sections of the Charities Act 2009, which will help to safeguard the position of those charity trustees who fulfil their duties in good faith. Section 90 of the Charities Act, which I am now commencing, will grant power to the courts, in the event of proceedings against a charity trustee, to grant relief to such trustees from personal liability for breach of trust, where it appears to the relevant court that the trustee acted honestly and reasonably.
 
My hope is that these safeguards will reassure those who are currently acting as charity trustees and will encourage more people to take on this valuable and important work," he said.
 
Section 4 of the Act allows the Minister to make regulations under the Act as we move towards the introduction of the new regulatory framework for charities in Ireland.

The commencemnt of this section will enable the Minister to make regulations before the new Authority is established, if considered appropriate.