The Charities Regulator has said it has appointed inspectors to carry out a statutory investigation into the company behind BirdWatch Ireland.

In a statement, the regulator said the inspectors will investigate the affairs of the Irish Wildbird Conservancy and prepare a report on their investigation and findings.

The regulator said a number of concerns had been raised with it about the organisation in March and September of 2019.

It said the charity engaged with it during that year.

The regulator then followed up early this year with the company as part of a review of open concerns.

"During that engagement a matter of further concern was identified," it said.

The regulator said the opening of the probe into the charity is not in itself a finding of any wrongdoing.

"While the Charities Regulator acknowledges BirdWatch Ireland's engagement with it on the concerns raised, the Charities Regulator has determined that a statutory investigation into the charity is warranted," its Chief Executive Helen Martin said.

BirdWatch Ireland’s Acting Chief Executive, Chris Corrigan, confirmed the inspectors had been appointed by the regulator to prepare a report on concerns regarding oversight and internal controls.

"The trustees and the staff of BirdWatch Ireland will fully assist the inspectors in the production of this report," Mr Corrigan said.

He also reiterated the Charities Regulator statement that the opening of a statutory investigation is not in itself a finding of any wrongdoing.

Based in Co Wicklow, BirdWatch Ireland was established in 1968 and has 15,000 members across 30 branches nationwide.

Its stated primary objective is the protection of wild birds and their habitats in Ireland and it is involved in species and habitat conservation, research, surveys, protection of reserves, advocacy, education and policy development.