Governance Questions

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Irish Heart a charity or is it part of the HSE?
Irish Heart is the national charity in Ireland supporting people affected by heart disease and stroke and it was founded in 1966. We are not a part of the HSE but we do collaborate on projects together towards our mission to help more people live life better.

We receive a very small State contribution for joint projects, to which we also contribute, such as our ‘Farmers Have Hearts’ initiative. For this collaboration, Irish Heart nurses proactively visit farmers marts around the country all year round to deliver vital early detection health checks free of charge to farmers, who have been identified as an at risk group.


Are you a registered charity?
Yes. Irish Heart has:


Does Irish Heart receive government funding?
Our total income is €5.3m (see latest accounts 2016) and this is almost entirely due to the efforts of our supporters. 93% of our total income comes from public and corporate partnerships and 7% comes from the State for co-funded projects. We are committed to providing fully audited accounts which are publicly available at any time on our website. The latest finances available are 2015 accounts and you can see them here.


How much does Irish Heart pay on administration costs?
Governance and administration costs are integral to the delivery of our services and represent 8% of total expenditure.


How much of my donation goes to the cause?
We are highly conscious of the need to deliver value for our donors’ money to enable the best service delivery across our programmes. We apply strict oversight over all spend and 64% of expenditure is for charitable purpose to help more people live life better free from stroke and heart disease.

Typically organisations in the charity sector that receive significant State income, have a lower cost of fundraising. At Irish Heart we are primarily funded by our supporters which requires investment in raising funds and this is 28% of total expenditure.


Does Irish Heart pay its Board Members?
We are governed by a voluntary board of 14 members, from the medical and business communities. Our board members do not receive remuneration.


How much is your CEO paid?
The Chief Executive is Tim Collins. A former GP, Special Advisor to Mary Harney and Brendan Howlin, Chief Executive at Newstalk 106-108FM and CEO of North West Broadcasting, Mr Collins brings a wealth of media, political and medical experience to Irish Heart.

Tim’s education includes qualifying as a barrister from Kings Inns in 2005. In 1983, he graduated in Medicine from Trinity College Dublin and went on to complete postgraduate training in General Practice before working as a GP in Dublin and Sydney until 1988. During that period, he also became Vice President of the Irish Medical Organisation.

The annual salary for the Chief Executive role is €138,000. The CEO’s salary is approved by the chairman of the Board and the chairman of the Finance Committee. The CEO reports to our Board of volunteer directors.


I thought charities were run by volunteers, why does Irish Heart pay staff?
Irish Heart enjoys support from as many as 3,000 volunteers annually who generously donate their time to support our work. Our volunteers come from communities all around Ireland including schools, workplaces and clubs. We also benefit from the advice of top medical experts in the country who give up their time to serve on our voluntary medical councils across a range of areas including stroke, heart failure, hypertension and disease prevention. Even our Board members are voluntary.

In Irish Heart, we regularly punch above our weight to deliver national programmes and awareness to benefit children, adults, communities and at risk groups in every corner of Ireland, with a relatively small team of full and part-time staff.

Our paid staff are vital to the delivery of high quality services in patient support, prevention, advocacy, research and resuscitation and very importantly to ensure we spend donor money as effectively and efficiently as possible. We work to the highest standard and our professionalism is further evidenced by having support staff in finance, database management, communications and human resources.

For every staff member we pay, Irish Heart enjoys support from 50 volunteers to keep more hearts beating and protect more families from the heartbreak of heart disease and stroke, which remains the biggest cause of death in this country.

Join us to help end premature deaths
from heart and stroke disease