Dáil Éireann - Volume 674 - 12 February, 2009
Written Answers. - Charities Regulation.
Deputy Leo Varadkar Deputy Leo Varadkar
Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the action he, or agencies of his Department will take to address the problem of bogus charities collecting old clothes and household items by means of door to door collections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5472/09]
Deputy John Curran Deputy John Curran
 Deputy John Curran: The practice of collecting goods, and particularly clothing, door-to-door, supposedly for charitable purposes, is an issue of concern.
I am particularly concerned in relation to certain collectors of clothing and bric-a-brac who convey the impression in their promotional literature that they are a charity, when this may not actually be the case. This may lead some people to donate to such collections in the belief that they are supporting a charity and helping to alleviate hardship. I consider that this is unfair both to donors, whose intention in donating such items is to help those in need, and to bona fide charities that are losing out on donations as a consequence.
However, measures in the Charities Bill 2007 will help to address this situation. The Bill, when enacted and commenced, will make it an offence for an organisation that is not on the register of charities, which is to be established, to describe itself or its activities in such a way as to cause the public to reasonably believe that the organisation is a registered charity, irrespective of the terminology used by the organisation in leaflets etc. This will limit the scope for non-charities to suggest to the public that they are charitable in nature. This will in turn help the public to distinguish between genuine charitable and non-charitable collections, and to make more informed decisions about which collections they choose to support.
Dáil Éireann 674 Written Answers. Charities Regulation.