Two women could be ousted as directors of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association after raising concerns about how the country’s largest and oldest women’s organization is working.
The agenda for a meeting scheduled for this Friday reveals that ICA leadership plans to remove Joanne Dunphy Allen and Patricia Madden. Both have raised concerns about the ICA’s corporate governance.
The ongoing controversy within the 112-year-old national institution, first revealed by the Irish Independentcaused a lot of friction.
Correspondence between ICA members shows that many women only learned about matters within the association from the media.
It turns out that the charities regulator has raised concerns about the ICA over the past year. It was revealed that €40,000 worth of art had been auctioned off by the ICA without the consent of its members. It also emerged that three board members – Ms. Dunphy Allen, Ms. Madden and Carol Grogan – were ousted from the ICA board.
All three had repeatedly expressed concerns about the organization.
Earlier this week, Ms. Dunphy Allen, who is still the ICA National Secretary, emailed the organization’s National Advisory Committee. In it, she revealed that she had been blocked from her email by ICA leadership.
She wrote: “I have put on record my concerns about the governance of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and Countrywomen’s Trust CLG since I took office on 29 May 2021. I have repeatedly raised concerns to the national board of Irish Countrywomen’s Association and at meetings of the directors of the Countrywomen’s Trust CLG. As national secretary, corporate secretary, trustee and director, I have made constant efforts to ensure that concerns are addressed.
“I remain concerned about the leadership of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and Countrywomen’s Trust CLG.”
In the email, Ms. Dunphy Allen said ICA members who had read media reports about the organization said they had “no idea what’s going on.”
A number of members have sent questions to their Association Presidents and to members of the ICA Board. On Monday, the ICA board sent a message to members through some association presidents.
“We recognize that recent press is a matter of concern for many members,” it said.
“The Board is aware of and is reviewing the matters involved and will respond in due course.”
The news sparked anger from some members who felt she was not answering their questions.
A member of a Kilkenny ICA guild sent a message to Betty Dewberry, President of the Kilkenny Federation, slamming the board’s message, describing it as a farce and another way to prevent ICA members from receiving replies.
The ICA has stated that it is “working with the Charity Regulator to resolve any relevant issues. We have agreed a timeline with the regulator to implement the required changes.”
It has also said it will not comment on individuals or matters related to members.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/ica-may-remove-two-members-who-raised-repeated-governance-concerns-as-directors-42147637.html ICA is able to remove two members who have repeatedly raised governance concerns as directors