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Charity Appeals Tribunal allows change previously refused
Charities Regulator Helen Martin Pic: Cian Redmond

12 Sep 2023 / regulation Print

Charity Appeals Tribunal allows refused name change

The Charity Appeals Tribunal has made a determination following a substantive hearing.

Chair and solicitor Patrick O’Connor said that the 12 July hearing was the first in-person matter before the tribunal.

The tribunal is chaired by the Mayo solicitor, while the ordinary members are Carol Fawsitt, Karen Horgan, Nuala E Dockry and Bill Holohan SC (small picture).

A charity wished to change its name but was refused on the grounds that the name it wished to change its name to was too like that of another charity.

They were refused by the Charity Regulator, but this was appealed, and the Charity Appeals Tribunal overturned the decision and allowed the name change.

The appellant charity is the National Parents Council – Primary, a charity incorporated since 1996.

The Charities Act 2009 provides that where the public is unlikely to distinguish between charities with a similar name, the authority is obliged to refuse an application for such a change.

The applicant sought to change its name to the National Parents Council in March 2023. At the time there was another registered charitable body called National Parents Council – Post Primary.

The chief executive refused the application and the appellant responded with a letter setting out the circumstances and a letter of support from the Department of Education.


The tribunal recorded its thanks for the collaborative rather than adversarial approach taken by the parties.

It found that while the two names were similar, they were also substantially different so as not to cause any public confusion or lead the public to be unable to distinguish between them.

In those circumstances, the tribunal allowed the appeal and the change of name to National Parents Council.

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