Even Santa has been hit by massive public cutbacks in donations to charity organizations following nationwide fury over top-ups of executives’ salaries with money meant to aid patients, especially children.

Parents whose children attended a Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) Christmas party were told there was no money to buy Santa presents because of lack of funds, the Irish Mail on Sunday reported.

Last week’s Christmas party at CRC Waterford was going to be cancelled, but it eventually went ahead when bosses at the clinic told parents they would have to buy the small Santa presents for their children.

The party was just days before the entire national board of the independent charity CRC resigned on Friday and an administrator was appointed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to run the organization.

At the same time Fundraising Ireland, umbrella group for professional fundraisers, said charity donations have plummeted by up to 40 percent in the wake of the top-up payments controversy.

Fundraising Ireland said charities were receiving phone calls on an hourly basis from people looking to cancel donations.

Chief executive Anne Hanniffy said two weeks of ongoing revelations about donations being used to top up salaries at the CRC was having a devastating impact on the sector.

The chief executive of the CRC has resigned in the wake of controversy over top-up funds for senior executives.

Brian Conlan, who was appointed chief executive in controversial circumstances in July, tendered his resignation nearly two weeks ago.

There has been public outrage across Ireland over salary top-ups in breach of public sector pay rules.
The CRC has admitted to the investigating Dail (Parliament) Public Accounts Committee that public donations intended to help patients were used to top up salaries of executives.

The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness called for a charity commissioner to be appointed without delay.