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Face to face again in the media spotlight

Howard Lake | 21 August 2005 | News

The media fascination in Ireland with face to face fundraising shows no sign of abating following another major feature story in the Sunday Tribune. This story follows numerous print and broadcast features that have kept this fundraising technique in the spotllight.

The article by Ann Marie Hourihane posed the question: ‘Are chuggers’ methods strictly kosher?’ In a balanced piece, various charities for and against were quoted for their views. Concern defended face to face, with James Howe, deputy general manager of their own face to face department, claiming ‚€13 million in annual income from their street solicitation.

On the other side of the debate, John O’Shea of third world charity Goal said he would never ‘contemplate such an intrusion into people’s lives.’

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Sigh Savers, generally credited with bringing face to face to Ireland, says it no longer uses the method. Perhaps the most colourful quote came from a former chugger who said the interview process seemed designed to establish ‘whether you were able to stand in a street and talk shite to strangers while keeping a smile on your face.’

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