The Dáil has been told that concerns about governance and accounting issues at the Irish Red Cross since 2007 have not been addressed by the Government.

Fine Gael's Jimmy Deenihan told the House that he took issue with the previous Defence Minister, Willie O'Dea, who told the House in the past that the Government was precluded from getting involved in such issues.

Deputy Deenihan told the House that he then looked up the legislation himself and found that the Red Cross Act of 1938 states that the Government can get involved in the management and administration of such a body.

He said the funding given by the State to the Irish Red Cross in 2009 was €960,000, and that therefore it behooves the Government to make sure it is properly spent.

Labour's Brian O'Shea said there was a domestic deficit of €650,000 showing in the Red Cross accounts up to September 2009.

He said the Government needed to take the organisation by the scruff of the neck.

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Pat Carey said good governance was important and that he would check to see that proper action would be taken.