Charities authority hopes conclusions on Kerry charity will be finalised shortly

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Radio Kerry understands that the Charities Regulatory Authority hopes to reach conclusions shortly regarding a Kerry-based charity for sick children. Charities Regulatory AuthorityIt’s understood that the agency which regulates the charity sector may complete its examination of correspondence relating to the Saoirse Foundation within several weeks. The Saoirse Foundation was founded by Tony and Mary Heffernan from Keel whose two children died of a rare, incurable disease. The foundation established the Bumbleance service, a special ambulance service for sick children. Last December, the HSE said it was running Bumbleance and that it was receiving no funding from any other source. Last year, four directors resigned from the board of the Saoirse Foundation citing governance issues and a complaint was made to the Charities Regulatory Authority which is looking into the matter. Radio Kerry understands that the authority hopes to reach a conclusion within the next several weeks. Tony Heffernan says complaints made against the charity are completely inaccurate and he’s always fully supported a governance review of the foundation. The HSE National Ambulance Service has received €200,000 for this year to operate the Bumbleance. It says it continues to work in partnership with the Saoirse Foundation on an interim basis; this arrangement began last August.