A Quaker trust must answer “serious questions” about its funding of a charity with close ties to the suspected leaders of a dissident republican terrorist group, a senior Ulster politician said yesterday.
Gavin Robinson, defence spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party, called on the Charity Commission to conduct a full investigation into the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust “in the interest of public security and transparency”.
The Times revealed this week that since 2012 the York-based trust has given more than £385,000 to Conflict Resolution Services Ireland (CRSI), whose senior trustee described the terrorist assassination of a Conservative MP as a “legitimate exercise”. The Belfast charity acts as a mediator for people under threat of punishment attacks from Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH), a paramilitary organisation that rejected the peace process and carried out numerous gun and bomb attacks between 2008 and last year.
Trust in Trouble
The Joseph Rowntree Trust should stop funding groups linked to terrorists
Charitable trusts exist for public benefit, and they have a responsibility to ensure that their money is going to charitable activities directed at the public good. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, however, is giving money to groups whose commitment to the public good is less than clear.
This week The Times revealed that the trust, which was set up to uphold “the traditional Quaker values of justice, equality, integrity, transparency and peace”, has been funding a charity in Northern Ireland with close links to terrorists, called Conflict Resolution Services Ireland (CRSI). The charity provides “mediation” services for those who believe they are at risk from punishment beatings by Republican paramilitaries.