Future of Irish in Britain organisation is 'under review’, according to CEO Peter McNulty

Future of Irish in Britain organisation is 'under review’, according to CEO Peter McNulty

THE Irish in Britain organisation is conducting a complete review of its operations ahead of its Annual General Meeting next month, The Irish Post can reveal.

In a general climate of restricted finances for charity organisations, Irish in Britain’s (IIB) CEO Peter McNulty claims they too are forced to have discussions about what is cost-effective for the charity going forward and what changes will need to be made.

“We will be sitting down with trustees and members to discuss the way forward,” he told The Irish Post this week.

“We’ll talk through our accounts; I have been reviewing our complete operation, and having discussions with all interested parties. No part of the charity has escaped my notice,” he added.

Mr McNulty confirmed that no decisions had been made regarding potential redundancies at the organisation, or changes to its office locations – IIB currently operates from its head office in Holloway Road, London and has an outpost in Moseley Street, Birmingham.

“No decisions have been made yet about any part of our operations,” he said.

“Everything is up for discussion — what’s cost-effective, and what’s not, what's practicable and what is not. We’ve been going 42 years, and of course during that time the profile of the Irish population in Britain has changed, so although our core values remain the same, our emphasis has had to change.”

IIB is a national body which acts as an umbrella group representing and supporting many smaller Irish clubs, centres and charities located across Britain.

Newry native Mr McNulty has now been at the helm of the organisation, which was established in 1973, for ten months.

One of the charity’s stated aims is 'building sustainability into its member organisations'.

“We currently have 113 members, which are the arteries to the Irish community,” he explains.

“We’re a diverse group; our members run from those helping Travellers to those with health issues; others work with the homeless or those who have dementia. And our operations run right through to Irish clubs and centres scattered throughout Britain. But these organisations are the arteries to the greater Irish community in Britain,” he added.

The IIB is also at the forefront of drafting policy positions and campaigning for issues that matter to the whole community; conducting research to make the most informed decisions and placing Irish in Britain at the centre of relations between Ireland and Britain through parliamentary work and acting as Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain.

Oh his role directing the charity, Mr McNulty adds: “The four things I think about every day, in fact that the four questions everyone here asks, are ‘Who are the Irish in Britain? Where are they? What are their needs? How can we help?’”

The CEO believes there is still much work to be done.

“The Irish are a very giving people. I think what we need to do is explain how the average person can engage with our charity. Many people want to help but are not sure how. And there is goodwill towards the Irish in Britain charity, from ordinary members of the public, right through to major brands.

“We need to work out how to harness all that goodwill. The dots are there but we haven’t joined them up yet.”