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Topic: The Limits of Philanthropy.

Gerry Adams: I'm a great fan of a man called Chuck Feeney.  And if you haven’t interviewed Chuck Feeney, and he might not do an interview with you, but Chuck Feeney was a billionaire who gave away all of his money. 

I’ll give you an example.  I brought him on to see a survival school for the Irish language.  And I was trying to encourage him to give some money to it. 

This was a school where parents had financed by running raffles and, you know, all of that sort of fundraising projects.  And the kids were all in this big hall, and they were getting a brilliant education. 

So he said to me when we went through the whole thing; and I thought he was highly impressed by it; but he says, “I’m not going to give them any money.”  And I said, “Why not?”  And he said, “Well, they’re doing very well without me.  Perhaps if I give them money they wouldn’t do as well.” 

So I would take a leaf from his sort of experience of philanthropy and put it into sustainable projects.


Recorded on: Oct 8, 2007

More from the Big Idea for Saturday, November 24 2012

Today's Big Idea: Rationalism

The following is a sadly familiar scenario: Disaster strikes. Americans open their wallets andĀ give generously. Fundraising records are broken. Large charity organizations are accused of incomp... Read More…


The Limits of Philanthropy

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