‘Bogus’ group suspected of children’s cancer donation scam in Limerick reported to gardai

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Ballynanty resident Anne-Marie Stacke reported the group to the Charities Regulator and Mayorstone gardai

Ballynanty resident Anne-Marie Stacke reported the group to the Charities Regulator and Mayorstone gardai

AN investigation has been launched after suspected donation bag scammers claiming to help children with cancer targeted homes in Limerick city.

Northside residents have been receiving bags in their mailboxes asking for contributions of clothes, shoes, jewellery and bric-a-brac – but the organisation named on the bag is not on the Charities Register, nor does it have a charity number.

The move has been called the “lowest of the low” by Ballynanty resident Anne-Marie Stacke, who has reported the group to the Charities Regulator and Mayorstone gardai.

“I’m disgusted and outraged these lowlives would use children with cancer to make a quick buck. Please do not give these ‘charities’ anything,” said Anne-Marie, whose cousin’s three-year-old child lost their life to cancer.

“We as a family know what it’s like. If a charity is genuine, of course you’d support it in any way you could. They’ve touched a nerve with this.”

It’s understood groups like these take donations to a warehouse, where they are given payment by weight.

Anne-Marie has urged anyone with unwanted items to take them to one of the city’s 17 charity shops instead.

A spokesperson for the Irish Charity Shops Association said: “The issue of people collecting who are not registered as charities is a big problem, and costs bona-fide charities. People who try to mislead people with regard to their status affect the income of charities all over the country.”

They added if a charity is not registered, it’s a criminal offence under the 2009 Charities Act for them to mislead the public as regards to their status.

It’s understood the Charities Regulator has previously had issues with the company delivering the bags, and has on more than one occasion requested it to remove its website from the internet.

The company has been contacted for comment but there was no response.

The Irish Charity Shops Association has encouraged people concerned about the legitimacy of a donation bag to contact the Charities Regulator at 01-6335100.