News & Events

Caranua Board minutes 20 September 2018

We are happy to publish the minutes of our Board meetings so that Board activities and decisions are accountable. There is always a delay between the meeting held and the publication of the minutes.  This is because the minutes must be approved before they can be published.  Minutes are approved at the meeting after the meeting they are a record of.  For example, if a Board meeting is held in March and the next meeting is held in April, the minutes of the March meeting will not be on the website until after the April meeting.

Present: David O’Callaghan, Tom Daly, Damian Casey, Katherine Finn, Frances Harrington, Patricia Carey,
Apologies:    Francis Treanor, Sinead Dwyer
In attendance: Rachel Downes, Saragh Fitzpatrick (Secretary), Caitriona Ni Mhurchu,
Item Discussion Decision


1.    Quorum, Apologies and Conflicts of Interest Declarations The Chair noted that there was a quorum present and that apologies had been

received from one member who was unable to attend.

No member had declared an interest in the Agenda.

2.    Minutes Minutes of the last Board meeting were agreed.
3.    Matters Arising not on the Agenda All action points were agreed as appearing on the agenda for this meeting.
4.    Report on Applications and Spend ·        The CEO presented a report on the number of applications received to date and a statistical analysis in relation to those applications. There was a Board discussion of trends in new and repeat applications.

·        Prioritisation of applications was discussed, as it relates to new / dormant / repeat applications. It is important to ensure that people who have yet to receive funding and the more elderly applicants are prioritised for assignment to an advisor.

·        Since 1st August, there have been 50 applications; 16 initial, 29 repeats, and 5 previously dormant applications. A letter is now being sent to all to advise that they had missed the deadline of 1st August and offering advocacy support to those eligible for such supports.

·        Complaints: there have been a number of complaints from one individual (9 open at present).   This should be monitored and consideration given to writing to the individual involved to explain Caranua’s processes around each contact avenue.

·        There has been personal correspondence to the Board in relation to 4 specific cases. The Board do not discuss individual cases and are happy with the approach being taken by the organisation to cases in general.













5.    Executive Report CEO took the Board through the Executive Report, covering:

Cessation date

·         533 applications have been submitted since the announcement of the cessation date. This has resulted in a continuing surge in the number of calls and postal correspondence received by Caranua, which is a very positive outcome to the programme of promotional work undertaken by the Head of Communications and Engagement in the run up to the cessation date.

Staffing update

·         Caranua is almost at full staffing compliment. The vacancies for application advisors, administrative assistants, and Head of Communications and Engagement have been filed, and we have offered the post of Finance Executive to a suitable candidate identified after a recruitment process.

Appeals Update


 Communications and Outreach

·         A total of 105 Oireachtas representations have been made in the period May – August 2018.

·         We continue to offer face to face meetings on a one to one basis in the Caranua offices. We expect the number of these to increase over the coming months.

·         Outreach work in the Deaf Village is continuing, where advisors meet with applicants in a private and confidential setting with a sign language interpreter available.



















6.    Governance Matters Correspondence in relation to the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies has been received from the Department of Education and Skills.

A response is required, including the following information:

·         Table showing Caranua’s current level of compliance with the Code of Practice;

·         Gap analysis of issues identified by Caranua in relation to compliance with the Code of Practice, given the size of the organisation and the timescale for the wind down.

Board noted that there were some items in the Code that may not be applicable due to the fact that Caranua are in wind up stage (e.g. items relating to strategic planning and succession etc.)

Two pieces of legislation are required for the wind up of Caranua:

1.       Closure legislation for the organisation

2.       Pension legislation for staff members



Response to be sent to Department.






Letter to be sent to the Department to stress the urgency of this legislation given the timeline.

7.    Finance & Risk Matters Finance Report

·         Director of Finance took the Board through the finance report for July and August into fund status and expenditure information. An amount of €8,408,726.94 remains outstanding from religious congregations.

·         The Board reviewed the update from the last Audit and Risk Committee, presented by the Chair of ARC and the Director of Finance:

o    Internal Audit report into GDPR compliance

o    Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies

o    Implementation of audit recommendations

o    Risk Management – risk register

o    Management of out of date cheques

o    External Audit of 2017 AFS by C&AG (ongoing at date of meeting)

o    Management accounts and financial projections

o    Fexco process

CEO will write to the Department to query the expected date of receipt of this funding.
8.    Correspondence & PQs Correspondence received from the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies, which will require a response as set out above.

Recent correspondence was received by the Chair directly, and this has been passed to the Executive for their follow up.

9.    A.O.B. Legacy Memorial

The sale of the Magdalene Laundry building on Sean McDermott Street has been stopped. What will happen to the building has not yet been decided. It was noted that there is a committee in place in relation to this.

10. Next meeting The date for the next meeting was agreed as 1st November, with an Audit and Risk Committee meeting to be held on 26th October.

The meeting concluded at 12:15 pm.



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