Icross cash to go to Kenyan aid charity by Colin Coyle, Sunday Times


Meegan was also accused of sexual assault by five Kenyan men.


By Colin Coyle
BEQUESTS worth‘ almost €300,000 are being transferred to the Kenyan wing of an Irish charity that has been dissolved after a series of controversies. Icross, founded by Michael Meegan, closed its Irish operations after The Sunday Times revealed the charity had been forced to repay €100,000 in public money to Irish Aid following an audit.
Meegan was also accused of sexual assault by five Kenyan men. He denies the claims, and has said they are part of a “campaign of raw vindictiveness” ‘by disgruntled former colleagues.
The Irish wing of the charity was dissolved last month. Its sister organisation in Kenya had sent Icross Ireland legal correspondence seeking the transferof all funds and bequests held. It claimed money donated to Icross Ireland was intended for use “on the ground” in Kenya.

A number of directors and trustees of the charity expressed concerns about a transfer, and the Irish operation forwarded all its remaining funds to the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests, a state body that provides services to the trustees of charities, and helps people making bequests.

At a meeting of the commissioners’ board last month, it was decided the
bequests, the largest of I which is from the Fanning estate, should be passed to Icross International, the charity’s Kenyan wing which is run by Meegan.

The commissioners ruled, that the money should be forwarded to the Kenyan wing under the legal doctrine of cy-pres, which states that bequests to a charity that no longer exists or cannot be identified should be paid to an entity as similar as possible in purpose.

In 2010, Meegan unsuccessfully sought an injunction against the Irish Mail on Sunday to prevent it publishing allegations dating back to 1986 that he sexually assaulted five men in Kenya.

In an interview shortly afterwards, he denied having sex with staff of Icross, or with minors, but said he had shared beds with men while working in Kenya, which he described as common practice in rural parts‘ of the country.

In the same interview, Meegan admitted the charity’s failure to account for €100,000 in public funds from Irish Aid was “a huge f_ _ _k__up.“ We didn’t meet their criteria for [accounting for] expenditure. They didn’t know where money went, but that didn’t mean it was stolen or swiped,” he said.

Icross Kenya did not respond to queries last Week. Icross Ireland was dissolved  on January 22., Its last accounts show donations of  only €5,000 in 2012, down from €750,000 six years earlier. At its height, the charity was receiving €100,000 a year from Irish Aid and large donations from NCB Stockbrokers and the Ireland Funds. It held an annual charity ball, attended by The Corrs and Rosanna Davison, while supporters included Garret FitzGerald and Liz O’Donnell, a former minister
for overseas development. Questions about Meegan first surfaced in 2006 when it emerged he had overstated his qualifications and was claiming to be a doctor. During the 1980’s, he represented himself as a priest.

DI will be writing a commentary on this article.

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