Former trustee of Northern Irish lifeboat charity appeals decision to take him off board

Trevor McKee has appealed to the Northern Ireland Charity Tribunal against his removal as a trustee of Lough Neagh Rescue by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

Lough Neagh Rescue
Lough Neagh Rescue

- This story was corrected on 11 October; please see final paragraph

A former trustee of a lifeboat charity has appealed to the Northern Ireland Charity Tribunal against a Charity Commission for Northern Ireland decision to remove him from the board.

A spokeswoman for the commission said that on 3 May this year the regulator opened a statutory inquiry into Lough Neagh Rescue, which provides lifeboat services on Lough Neagh, because it had concerns about the charity’s "historic administration and governance".

As part of the inquiry, the fourth to be opened by the commission, the regulator "issued an order for the removal of a named individual as a trustee of Lough Neagh Rescue" on 15 August, the commission spokeswoman said.

Under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, the commission has the power to remove charity trustees, officers, agents, employees and members on the grounds of charity misconduct or mismanagement and to protect a charity.

The commission's register of removed trustees names Trevor McKee as the trustee removed from the charity. 

McKee has lodged an appeal with the Northern Ireland Charity Tribunal against the decision to remove him.

The CCNI spokeswoman said: "As the inquiry into Lough Neagh Rescue remains open and an appeal against the commission’s decision to remove the individual as a trustee has been lodged with the Charity Tribunal, the commission is not currently in a position to go into further detail on either matter."

In July this year, the tribunal threw out an appeal by McKee against a commission decision that requested specified documents relating to the charity from him, due to lack of jurisdiction. 

The tribunal also struck out McKee’s application for a review of the commission’s decision to open an inquiry into the charity, on the grounds "that the board of the charity does not wish any application to be pursued". The tribunal’s decision said McKee "painted a picture of a charity which, regrettably, endures significant differences of opinion as between its members". 

The CCNI spokeswoman said a report on the result of the regulator's inquiry would be published on its website once it was completed.

According to the commission’s list of deemed charities, Lough Neagh Rescue has an annual income of less than £100,000.

Third Sector was unable to contact anyone from the charity for comment.

- The story originally said that the charity had lodged the appeal

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