Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Safety: Discussion

Ms Norma Rohan:

With regard to developing a charter or guidelines, working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, we welcome working with anyone to make any farm family's life easier in the aftermath. Our current structure is that we have a voluntary board of directors, of which Brian is the chair. There are ten directors including people who have been affected personally and people from the agriculture industry who know how to run a business. The team that works for Embrace FARM comprises Ms Collins and me. I work part-time for 20 hours a week while Ms Collins works 25 hours a week. That is it. With the new funding of €300,000 we are getting from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, we will be employing one person full time and another person part time. Again, that funding is only for 12 months. I am living on a prayer that there will be a few bob to be got after those 12 months. I welcome the Deputy's invitation to come back to the committee in 12 months for help in getting a few bob more. We would gladly take it.

The Deputy mentioned the burden. There is a great burden on charities to operate with good governance. When Brian and I first started out, another charity was falling apart due to mismanagement and embezzlement of funds.

As husband and wife we were determined from day 1 we would do the governance right, and we pride ourselves on that. However, as any charity will tell you, there is a huge burden on charities to comply with that regulation. It is the law and we must comply with it. We do that but it is cumbersome. The team is myself and Ms Collins. Between the two of us we are one full-time person.