New agreement will enhance oversight of Irish registered charities

The Charities Regulator and the Department of Foreign Affairs have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance public trust and confidence in the Irish charity sector.

The Department of Foreign Affairs manages Ireland’s official overseas development assistance (ODA) programme, which supports Irish registered charities to deliver development and humanitarian programmes. The Department also provides grants, including to Irish registered charities, through the Emigrant Support Programme and through the Reconciliation Fund.

The MoU provides a framework for cooperation and collaboration by the Charities Regulator and the Department in appropriate cases and will contribute to the effective regulation of Irish registered charities.

Welcoming its signing, Helen Martin, Chief Executive, Charities Regulator stated: “We are committed to building a robust, proportionate regulatory environment, enabling a vibrant trusted charity sector that is valued for the public benefit it provides. We recognise the important role that administrative cooperation with other state agencies and Government Departments including the Department of Foreign Affairs can play in helping us to achieve this.”

Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., said:  “My Department provides significant funding to Irish charities and voluntary organisations with an international focus, supporting the essential work they do supporting our diaspora and in international development. I am delighted that this new framework for engagement with the Charities Regulator is now in place.  This is a further statement of the Department’s strong commitment to ensuring accountability for public funding and to working collaboratively to further enhance public trust in the Irish charity sector. An active and trusted charity sector helps make a real difference to people’s lives and to communities.

“I would like to thank the Regulator and her team for their work with my Department to bring this important agreement to fruition. It will greatly enhance the work of our respective organisations in support of a trusted charity sector in Ireland.”

Under the terms of the MoU, the two organisations may share information or provide assistance for the purpose of the performance of their respective functions.

 The MoU can be accessed on our website.



  • Irish Aid supports Irish charities to deliver programmes in support of vulnerable communities around the world. An OECD peer evaluation in 2020 highlighted Ireland’s partnership with civil society as particularly strong, with evidence that grants have been used effectively to respond to complex humanitarian and development challenges.
  • The Emigrant Support Programme strengthens ties with the diaspora, reaches those who are less connected with existing networks, and supports new ways of building connections and support for the vulnerable.
  • The Reconciliation Fund supports activities aimed at improving and strengthening relations within and between traditions in Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Britain.