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University of Limerick receives €6.7m in donations

Resource type: News

Limerick Leader | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

University of Limerick Foundation is an Atlantic grantee.

By Anne Sheridan

EVEN in times of hardship people’s generosity towards the University of Limerick seems to know no bounds.

The latest figures submitted to the Companies Registration Office reveal that the University of Limerick Foundation, which promotes continued education and research at the university, received gifts and donations amounting to €6.7million last year.

But in an even more challenging financial year, a spokesperson for the Foundation said they expect to achieve an even greater donor income, in the region of €8million, this year.

Compared to 2007, last year’s figure represents an increase of over €2million in donations for the Foundation.

“Despite a challenging environment, the UL Foundation’s success can be attributed to the increased importance given to educational investment among industry partners and alumni in growing Ireland’s knowledge economy and supporting future investment in the Mid-West region,” said a spokesperson.

The annual President’s Gala Dinner is one such source of fundraising, which funds links between UL and the regeneration areas in the city.

The company, which has been granted charitable exemption by the Revenue Commissioners, had an increased overall income last year, up from just over €5m in 2007 to €7.2m last year.

However, the company ended the financial year with a deficit of €887,745 after €8.1m was paid out in research and development grants.

The Foundation, which receives donations from alumni, companies and private donors, has used such funds for scholarships, as well as helping to fund large scale projects such as Living Bridge and the Kemmy Business School.

During the financial year up to August 31, 2008, wages and salaries amounting to €492,211 was paid out to nine staff, including pension costs.

A certain amount of their fund with the Bank of Ireland Asset Management Limited were sold and realised a profit of nearly €1.1m, which was reinvested in a managed fund operated by KBC Limited.

A number of the board’s directors also donated a total of €114,073 to the Foundation in that period, but the identity of these donors have not been disclosed.

Ten of the 28 board directors live in the United States, including the billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney and Dr John F. Mitchell.

The late author Frank McCourt was also a director, but his name has since been struck off in its annual returns.

Other directors include the broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, musician Dr Bill Whelan, Dr Dermot Smurfit, Limerick solicitor Gordon Holmes, the university’s founding president, Dr Edward Walsh, and former university chancellor Sean Donlon.

The university’s current chancellor, Peter Malone, a director of the National Roads Authority, is also a director.

The board, along with UL president Don Barry, met in New York this May to discuss the future strategy of the Foundation.

Established in 1989, the Foundation believes that “in the current economic climate the University of Limerick is a great place to invest philanthropic donations to support the swift recovery of Ireland through research and economic development.”

It received j125,000 from Analog Devices this year, which will be used for the Analog Devices Scholarships and the Hank Krabbe Medal, in memory of the late founding managing director of Analog Devices in Limerick.

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