The Charities Aid Foundation has designated Ireland as the second most charitable nation on earth, behind only the USA, on its 2011 World Giving Index.
Such a high placing will come as no surprise to those of us who have for decades witnessed at first-hand the extraordinary generosity of the Irish people.
Since GOAL was founded in 1977, during both economic good times and bad, the public has been unwavering in its support for our efforts on behalf of the poorest of the poor.
In the wake of a tragedy, people rush to donate what they can. Often, the GOAL switchboard has been barely able to cope with those ringing to pledge their support, while others are constantly calling at the office to donate in person.
I am sure that every other charity and aid organisation in the country can cite similar experiences of the inherent generosity and charitable nature of our people.
It is fitting that such laudable traits have been internationally recognised by the Charities Aid Foundation.