Despite possessing detailed proposals for reform of the Irish Red Cross, the Minister for Defence has still failed to act according to Fine Gael Defence Spokesperson David Stanton TD.

“Following lengthy considerations, the Irish Red Cross published detailed governance reform proposals for their own organisation last year. These proposals were supplied to the Minister for Defence in January 2010. Despite intense media coverage of the need for reform within the Red Cross, 10 months on nothing has happened. I can only deduce that the proposals are still sitting on his desk.

“I deplore the Minister’s reticence for reform in the Red Cross. It is obvious that the Red Cross needs an updated governance structure; its thousands of volunteers across the country deserve this. I want to see public confidence in the Red Cross being maintained and enhanced. The Minister’s stalling must stop; he must act now to bring in governance reforms at the Red Cross.

“The Government must also, in light of recent events in the Red Cross, introduce whistleblower legislation. This legislation, if properly drafted, would benefit both whistleblowers and other individuals or organisations against whom allegations of mismanagement or misconduct would be made. People should be facilitated to come forward and draw attention to issues of genuine concern in the workplace or in organisations. Clear procedures should be in place to allow whistleblowers to act and to have their claims to be investigated in a transparent way. Such procedures whould protect both whistleblowers and other involved parties.”