Pobal | Seniors Alert Scheme Discussions

VIDEO: The Seniors Alert Scheme operated by Pobal is discussed by Pobal’s CEO & Senior Management at a Rural and Community Development Committee Meeting in January 2018

Pobal appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development Committee, to discuss Pobal’s operations on 30 January 2018. The committee meeting including Seniors Alert Scheme discussions. The committee meeting can be viewed in full and a link is provided at the end of this page. Information concerning Pobal in the section below is taken from the opening statement, provided to that Committee by Mr Denis Leamy, Chief Executive Officer, Pobal.


For further details on the 2014 transfer of the Seniors Alert Scheme to Pobal can be found on our Seniors Alert (News & Commentary) page.



About Pobal


Pobal, formerly known as Area Development Management, was established in 1992 by the Irish Government in agreement with the European Commission to manage an EU Grant for local development. Their activities and priorities are shaped by the context and policies laid out in several reports, including the Programme for Government. 

Pobal’s day-to-day work involves assisting on programme design, assessing grant applications proposals and plans, managing contracts, distributing funding, monitoring progress, and auditing beneficiaries.


Pobal also provides good practice case studies, evaluations, and demographic information that support Government Departments in making policy decisions. They make tools such as Pobal Maps and the Pobal HP Deprivation Index freely available to allow policy makers and communities respond to needs identified by these sets of tools.


VIDEO: Senator O’Sullivan asks Pobal CEO Dennis Leamy ‘What does community mean to Pobal’?

Pobal operates from office bases in Dublin, Monaghan, Sligo, Clifden, Letterkenny, Galway city, Limerick and Kilkenny. The Department of Rural and Community Development is their lead department.

In 2017, Pobal managed 23 Programmes, primarily for four Government Departments.

In managing these programmes Pobal:

Distributed almost €615m directly to beneficiaries (€614,974m).
Had contracts with almost 5,000 groups (4,952).
Channelled funding to 4,360 childcare centres which supports 162,848 children2.
Supported 24,780 people in employment and enterprise programmes in 2016 with an additional 7,960 supported into employment or self-employment through SICAP.


VIDEO: Mick Wallace speaking on Pobal and the State Contracts they receive without a tender process


This activity was achieved with an average of 356 staff, 45% of which were based outside of Dublin.


Pobal’s total administration spend for 2017 was €26.4m, 4.10% of programme costs. Down from 5.68% in 2008, 4.60% in 2015 and 4.44 % in 2016.

Pobal’s work has grown significantly in recent years, with the amount of funds disbursed moving from €257 million in 2011 to €615 million in 2017.


Pobal operates on the basis of a Framework Agreement with the Department of Rural and Community Development, and programme-specific Service Level Agreements with individual departments. Each year a Programme of Work is agreed with each Government Department for any work that Pobal is requested to undertake.


Key features of governance structures include:


Pobal is responsible for adhering to all relevant legislative provisions, Department circulars, guidelines and public financial procedures, issued by the Irish Government. They are subject to the 2016 code of governance for non-commercial state bodies. Pobal are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General on an annual basis. They are registered with the Charity Regulatory Authority. Pobal reports to Departments through regular governance meetings and delivery of programme reports and data. They are subject to regular audits by Departments.


VIDEO: Mick Wallace speaking on Charities like Pobal who may be incorrectly identifying as a Charity

Source: Joint Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development Opening statement by Mr Denis Leamy, Chief Executive Officer, Pobal, Wednesday 31st January 2018 [Abridged by Telecare.ie]





Pobal administers the Seniors Alert Scheme.


Pobal is also the sole service provider used by government for the Dormant Accounts Fund.


Further information on the Committee on Rural and Community Development: https://beta.oireachtas.ie/en/committees/32/rural-and-community-development/


The committee meeting including Seniors Alert Scheme discussions can be viewed in full at: https://beta.oireachtas.ie/en/committees/32/rural-and-community-development/videos/