Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has today (Monday) welcomed reports that pedestrians will no longer have to navigate around teams of ‘chuggers’ in the city centre, as new legislation will be implemented to regulate their activities.
“Having multiple people clogging up a street, waving at you, trying to hug you and get you to sign a direct debit form isn’t charity in my opinion, it’s a nuisance, and it’s doing far more harm than good for the charity sector. I have been calling for the regulation of chuggers for three years now, and I am pleased that it is finally happening.
“A section of the Charities Act, which will come into force in the coming months, will mean that those who wish to get direct debit donations on the street must get a permit from the Gardaí. The legislation will also limit the number who can operate in an area at a given time.
“This is a very positive development. I have received almost universally negative feedback from tourists who feel harangued and harassed by the number of chuggers on the streets in Dublin. This new approach will result in smaller numbers of chuggers on the street and, I’m sure, more or less the same amount of donations as long as everybody plays by the rules.
“If we’ve learned anything from the last few months, it’s that Irish people want to give to charities so long as they behave in a responsible manner. The CRC scandal has shaken confidence in the entire charity sector, and therefore these new regulations will help to ensure the reputation and the image of the charity sector as a whole is maintained.
“I have spoken to numerous charity chiefs who say they genuinely don’t like the system of direct-debit signing as it is now, so I am glad we are cleaning it up in a way that is fair to all.”