The Dormant Accounts Fund consists of unclaimed funds from accounts in credit institutions in Ireland. Dormant funds or unclaimed life assurance policies which have not been reclaimed by the original account or policy holder or their beneficiaries are transferred each year to the Fund (though beneficial owners have a guaranteed right of reclaim to their property at any time in the future).

The legislation governing the Fund allows it to be used for:

– the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;

– the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged, or

– persons with a disability.

Disbursement Schemes and Action Plans are prepared by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for these purposes.

The current Disbursement Scheme for the Fund ran to the end of 2016 and the Department is currently carrying out a consultation process seeking proposals for inclusion in a new Scheme to cover the period 2017-2019.  An Action Plan for 2017 under this new Disbursement Scheme will be drawn up and will contain details of specific schemes or programmes to be operated by other Departments using the Fund.

Social Enterprise Measure
The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs operates the Social Enterprise measure under the Dormant Accounts Fund. The aim of the Social Enterprise measure is to increase the impact of social enterprises by enhancing their capacity to delivery services and generate traded income through the provision of small capital grants and capacity support funding.

In February 2017, Pobal, on behalf of the Department, invited applications for funding under the Social Enterprise measure of the Dormant Accounts Action Plan. Details of the successful projects are available here.