The Irish Times Trust Limited
The Irish Times Trust Limited was set up as ‘a company limited by guarantee’ to purchase The Irish Times Limited and to ensure that The Irish Times would be published as an independent newspaper with specific editorial objectives.
The Trust is regulated by the Memorandum and Articles of Association and controlled by a body of people (the Governors) under company law. It is not a charity and does not have charitable status. It has no beneficial shareholders and it cannot pay dividends. Any profits made by The Irish Times cannot be distributed to the Trust; they must be used to strengthen the newspaper, directly and/or indirectly.
The Trust is composed of a maximum of 11 Governors, who are appointed on the basis that they are ‘representative broadly of the community throughout the whole of Ireland’.
The Trust is a key component in the governance structure of The Irish Times because it guarantees the independence and quality of the newspaper. It is not involved in the day-to-day management of the Company. The primary role of the Trust is to appoint a Board, which is responsible for ensuring that the Company is run successfully and adheres to its core objects. The Trust will intervene only if there is a material threat – financial or otherwise – to the attainment of the main objective of publishing The Irish Times as an independent newspaper. The Company is required to seek Trust approval for significant disposals or acquisitions.