First prosecution and conviction under the Charities Act 2009

February 22, 2017

Mr Oliver Williams, from Co Galway, was prosecuted under the Act for misrepresenting “Twist Charity” as a registered charitable organisation, when this was not the case. Mr Williams was also prosecuted for advertising, requesting and accepting donations for an unregistered charitable organisation.

The prosecution of Mr Williams comes as a result of work conducted by the compliance unit of the CRA in November and December last year following concerns received in relation to the operation of an unregistered charity; “Twist Charity”.  This was a charity shop and soup kitchen run by Mr Williams which were ordered to close in late January 2017 due to the prosecution.

On 2 February 2017, Mr Justice Kevin Kilrane, in Sligo District Court, sentenced Mr Williams to a five month suspended jail sentence. The Court also attached conditions that Mr Williams will not engage, directly or indirectly, in any alleged charitable business for a period of two years and that he will not apply for charitable registration in his own name or anybody else’s name.

This is the first case which has been brought by the Charities Regulator under Part 4 of the Act which came into operation on 5 September 2016 at the direction of the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald.

Authors: Barry Fagan and Tom Clarke  

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