JP McManus Fund Made Over €17.3m in Donations

A charitable foundation set up by businessman JP McManus donated more than €17 million to causes in Ireland and abroad over the past three years.

Accounts filed to the Companies Registration Office show that the JP McManus Charitable Foundation Limited, which has been in existence since 2000, donated a total of €10,728,275 to charities last year. Some €2,459,643 was donated in 2007, and €4,141,725 in 2006, according to the foundations’s accounts.

Of the €17.3 million donated in 2006-2008, more than €3 million went directly to causes in his home county of Limerick. The remainder went to charities in Ireland and overseas. In 2005, Mr McManus raised a further €31 million for projects in the midwest through his Invitational Pro-Am, which involved, among others, world number one golfer Tiger Woods.

A prominent figure in the racing industry, Mr McManus visits Ireland regularly from his base in Geneva, Switzerland, and is non-resident for tax purposes.

The two largest allocations of funds through his foundation last year were to the All-Ireland Scholarship Fund (€6.3 million) and the Paddy Harrington golf scholarships (€2 million), which was set up in memory of Irish golfer Padraig Harrington’s father.

St Gabriel’s Centre in Limerick received the next highest allocation of €312,000 for children with special needs.

Last August, Mr McManus’s daughter, Sue-Ann Foley, a 29-year-old business executive from Kilmallock, Co Limerick, was appointed a director of the company. Ms Foley’s appointment was approved by the existing board members, which included her father; her mother Noreen McManus; Declan Moylan, who works with Mr McManus; Labour deputy Jan O’Sullivan; solicitor Gordon Holmes; and accountant Gerry Boland, who is a director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Services and Limerick Enterprise Network Limited.

Ms O’Sullivan, who has been on the board since the company’s establishment, said it had clear terms of reference in deciding who received funding.

The board of the foundation meets several times each year, and this week was examining 40 projects for possible funding. But Ms O’Sullivan said it would be reasonable to expect that donations given this year could be less than the €10.7 million last year, due to the current economic climate.

She added that the board members were “distributing the money on behalf of JP McManus” and “ensure that money is being spent well, and is value for money”.

The foundation’s office is based at Bishopsgate, Henry Street, Limerick – in the same office as Mr Holmes’s legal practice. The accounts state that Mr McManus had advanced €600,000 by way of a loan to the company in 2003, which was still owed to the businessman in 2008.

Last year he donated €6 million to the company, which also benefited from investment income of €2.7 million.

In racing, beneficiaries include the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Drogheda Memorial Fund, Jim Olde Racing Charity, Jockeys’ Accident Fund, Jockeys’ Emergency Fund and the Injured Jockeys’ Fund. In the past three years, these charities have received in excess of €424,000.

Other major recipients were Respect, a Daughters of Charity service with people with an intellectual disability; and Direct Aid for Africa, each of which received €500,000 in 2006.

St Munchin’s Family Resource Centre in Limerick received €320,000 in 2007-2008; the Cari Foundation, for children and families affected by sexual abuse, €300,000 in 2008; Southill Area Centre Ltd, Limerick, €300,000 in 2007; the Niall Mellon township trust €251,000 in 2006-2007; and Young Nenagh Project Limited, Tipperary, €250,000 in 2008.

Top five beneficiaries from JP McManus Charitable Foundation Ltd over the past three years: 

  1. All-Ireland Scholarship Fund, for third-level education: €6.3 million in 2008
  2. Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarships: €2 million in 2008
  3. Respect, a Daughters of Charity service for people with intellectual disabilities: €500,000 in 2006
  4. Direct Aid for Africa: €500,000 in 2006
  5. St Munchin’s Family Resource Centre, Limerick: €320,000 in 2007-2008


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