UCD re­ceived over €9m from Ire­land fund in US

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - GOR­DON DEE­GAN

The UCD Michael Smur­fit Grad­u­ate Busi­ness School was the big win­ner in the $29.47 mil­lion (€25.6 mil­lion) do­nated to more than 350 or­gan­i­sa­tions and projects here and across the world by the Amer­i­can Ire­land Funds (AIF) in 2017.

Doc­u­men­ta­tion pro­vided to the US tax au­thor­i­ties by the AIF shows that the grad­u­ate busi­ness school re­ceived a do­na­tion of $10.63 mil­lion (€9.23 mil­lion) from the fund in 2017 – by far the largest sin­gle do­na­tion made by the AIF that year.

The pur­pose of the grant is to sup­port the Smur­fit busi­ness school through help­ing to fund a state-of-the-art teach­ing and learn­ing fa­cil­ity – The Cen­tre for the Fu­ture of Learn­ing Cap­i­tal Project.

The project is part of a planned €65 mil­lion spend over five years as part of UCD’s Vi­sion 2020 for the univer­sity’s col­lege of busi­ness.

The AIF re­port on the do­na­tion shows that $1.75 mil­lion of the grant had been spent by Au­gust 14th, 2018.

The do­na­tion by the AIF to the Smur­fit school was part of $29.47 mil­lion given to 352 or­gan­i­sa­tions and projects across Ire­land and Ir­ish com­mu­ni­ties world­wide in 2017.

The AIF is part of the World­wide Ire­land Funds that were founded in 1976 by Sir An­thony O’Reilly and a for­mer US ambassador to Ire­land, the late Dan Rooney. They have so far raised more than $600 mil­lion for causes in Ire­land and Ir­ish causes around the world, ben­e­fit­ing more than 3,200 or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The tax doc­u­men­ta­tion shows that the now de­parted chief ex­ec­u­tive of the AIF, Kieran McLough­lin, re­ceived $699,000 in pay, bonus and ben­e­fits in his last full year at the helm of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, in 2017. Mr McLough­lin stepped down from the chief ex­ec­u­tive role last Oc­to­ber and served in an ad­vi­sory ca­pac­ity to the fund be­fore leav­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion on De­cem­ber 31st last.

In 2017, Mr McLough­lin saw his ba­sic pay rise by 15 per cent to $535,000.

Per­for­mance-re­lated bonus

Mr McLough­lin’s over­all $699,000 pay in­cluded a per­for­mance-re­lated bonus of $100,000 which was lower than the $158,333 bonus paid to him in 2016.

It emerged in Oc­to­ber last year that a for­mer AIF em­ployee is al­leged to have em­bez­zled $579,000 from the or­gan­i­sa­tion. The doc­u­men­ta­tion lodged by AIF with the US tax au­thor­i­ties al­leges that in 2018, the AIF dis­cov­ered that an ex-em­ployee in the US mis­ap­pro­pri­ated $249,000 in 2017 and $330,000 in 2016.

The doc­u­men­ta­tion states that given the na­ture of the al­leged em­bez­zle­ment, the amounts in­volved had been re­ported pri­mar­ily as event ex­penses in the state­ment of ac­tiv­i­ties for each year.

In court doc­u­ments, the ex-em­ployee has de­nied that she stole from the char­ity and has as­serted that “in the event that it is found” that she took the prop­erty of AIF, she did so by “mis­take or ac­ci­dent”.

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