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Wednesday 1 October 2014

€150,000 salaries paid to Rehab executives are revealed

Taxpayer funds large portion of senior figures' six-figure pay

Daniel McConnell Political Correspondent

Published 10/03/2014 | 02:30

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Rehab ehief executive Angela Kerins and director Dr John McGuire at Leinster House to address the Public Accounts Committee
Rehab ehief executive Angela Kerins and director Dr John McGuire at Leinster House to address the Public Accounts Committee

TWO women who appeared with Angela Kerins as part of a Rehab delegation to an Oireachtas committee are each earning €150,000 a year.

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They are among eight senior executives at the embattled charity who are earning more than €90,000. In several cases, the taxpayer is funding large portions of their salaries.

Rehab director of health and social services, Laura Keane, was paid a €150,000 salary of which 84pc was paid for by the taxpayer through the HSE.

Marie Kelly, Rehab's director of training and employment services, was also paid €150,000 with 23pc of her salary being paid for by the HSE.

Both women run substantial businesses in their own right and were prominent members of the Rehab delegation which appeared before the Public Accounts Committee alongside Ms Kerins two weeks ago.

Two other unnamed directors were each paid €102,029, with 33pc of their salary coming from the taxpayer by way of the HSE.

There are also other senior managers within the wider Rehab group, not supported by the taxpayer, who are believed to be on six-figure salaries.

A further four senior managers were each paid €90,425 last year.

Another two officials were paid €86,238 each, with 33pc of their salary being paid for by the taxpayer.

Lower down the scales an unspecified number of "managers" are in receipt of salaries of between €68,000 and €74,190.

The figures are in marked contrast to frontline Rehab staff who have taken pay cuts of up to 15pc, saw Christmas bonuses stopped and in some cases were laid off.

Given the media attention surrounding it, Rehab sources have indicated that it intends providing a "full breakdown" of the salaries to the PAC today or tomorrow.

While some within Rehab have been in favour of disclosing the information, a number of individuals have sought to oppose the declaration on the grounds of privacy.

At the PAC hearing, HSE Director General Tony O'Brien supplied salary details to the committee, but it has since transpired that he had no legal basis to do so. As a result, because of data protection and privacy rules, the information was withheld even from members of the PAC on legal advice.

PAC members have demanded Frank Flannery, a former CEO of Rehab, and members of the Rehab remuneration committee come before them to explain the complex salary arrangement, after they failed to appear at the earlier meeting.

However, Mr Flannery has not yet done so. This has heaped pressure on the Government given his close ties to both Fine Gael and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

At that hearing, Ms Kerins and her executives refused to divulge those salary details because they claimed they were not "public servants" or on the "public pay scale".

"They are not on public pensions. They are entitled by right – and the law of this country – to their protection and privacy. That is where we are," she said.

Contrary to reports that she was rushed to hospital last Thursday, Ms Kerins actually took ill last weekend, and has been in hospital for nine days. She is expected to be "out of commission for several weeks", sources said.

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Speaking in Cork yesterday, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said he believed that Rehab should publish a list of the salaries of its executives.

"I think that bodies which receive large sums of money from the public purse... I think that the levels of pay of their senior executives... I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be publicly available," he said.

It has also emerged that Rehab lost tens of thousands of euro on a deal to buy coffins from a company co-owned by Sean Kerins, Angela Kerins's husband.

The firm, Complete Eco Solutions, initially billed Rehab for €255,552 but it only paid them €70,000 for a reduced order. After the venture failed, Rehab sold on the consignment of coffins for €10,000.

PAC has sought further clarification in writing from Rehab on 12 different issues ranging from the losses on the coffins to details of Mr Flannery's pension.

Irish Independent

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