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Charity regulator will reflect on progress and challenges at annual public meeting

Northern Ireland’s charity regulator will take a look back at the progress, and challenges, of implementing charity regulation, at its annual public meeting 2016 in Lisburn today.

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is holding its annual public meeting – the second such annual event from the regulator - at the Island Arts Centre this afternoon (Monday, 19 September 2016).

The meeting will provide attendees with an opportunity to catch up on the work of the Commission over the seven years since the passing of The Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

There will also be a guest lecture by senior lecturer in law at University College Dublin, Dr Oonagh Breen, who will speak on the topic What does good governance in a charity look like?

Tom McGrath, Chief Charity Commissioner, commented: “Recent research on public trust and confidence in Northern Ireland charities revealed that 94% of people feel proper regulation of charities is important to them.*    

“This meeting is an ideal opportunity to not only find out more about our regulatory activities, but also see how that work is increasing the openness and transparency of the charity sector.”

Some of the Commission’s key highlights from 2015-16, which will be discussed at the meeting, include the following.

  • 2,680 charities registered during the year, bringing the total number of charities registered as at 31 March 2016 up to 4,017**
  • 17 charities refused registration during the year as they failed to demonstrate that they met the legal requirements
  • 121 concerns about charities closed during the year, leaving 37 in progress at year end
  • 19,544 telephone and email enquiries dealt with
  •  9,973 views of the Registration support section of
  •  919 attendees at 26 Commission registration workshops, held at venues across Northern Ireland.

As well as the key statistics above, the Commission also welcomed the commencement of The Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 on 1 January 2016. This brought into place a full annual reporting regime for all registered charities in Northern Ireland for the first time.

For further information on the Commission’s performance during 2015-16, or previous years, see the Annual reports section of


For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email:

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

The Commission works to provide and implement the structures and processes through which charities can demonstrate their contribution to society and the public can be assured that charitable resources are being properly applied.

*Statistic from the Commission’s Public trust and confidence in charities research report 2016, available in the Research section of the website.

** As at 19 September 2016, the total number of charities registered by the Commission had increased to 5,100.