The American Ireland Funds (AIF) distributed nearly $30 million in 2017, with the Graduate Business School at University College Dublin (UCD) accounting for more than a third of that total.
Information provided to the Irish Times by the US tax authorities shows that the AIF 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 funding to the business school will provide a 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.
In 2017 UCD raised €24 million, nearly double the figure for 2016.
AIF give to 352 organisations and projects across Ireland and Irish communities worldwide in 2017. Other donations made include $79,525 to Barnardos while the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) received $80,000 to fund a leadership programme for GAA players.
One of the most exclusive private schools in the country, Glenstal Abbey in Co Limerick, received $155,000 in grants in 2017 under several headings including $110,000 to enable the Abbey build a pedestrian bridge linking the monastery and the library.
The tax documentation shows that the former chief executive of the AIF, Kieran McLoughlin, received $699,000 in pay, bonus and benefits in his last full year in the organisation.
Meanwhile, the AIF has claimed in a Texas court that a fundraiser for it from 2014 to early 2018, stole money from the organisation by creating fictitious companies and charged the fund for services never performed. She has denied “each and every allegation” made in the Texas legal action.
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