Monday 24 October 2016

Freezing order on former Console boss Paul Kelly's bank account lifted to allow €300 social welfare cheque to be cashed

Tim Healy

Published 19/07/2016 | 16:59

Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly

A freezing order on one of bank accounts of Console charity founder Paul Kelly and his wife Patricia has been lifted to enable them cash their €300 a week social welfare cheque.

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Apart from €6,700 in another savings account, both of which are with Permanent TSB in Finglas, Dublin, the Kellys have no other cash assets, their solicitor James MacGuill told the High Court.

In an affidavit, Mr Kelly said there is an outstanding mortgage with EBS of around €428,000 on their family home at Alexandara Manor, Abbeylands, Clane, Co Kildare, which has an approximate value of €600,000.

There is also an outstanding €225,000 charge in favour of EBS on their original home at Whitethorn Grove, Celbridge, Co Kildare, which was turned into a Console office.  Total monthly payments on these properties are €5,300.

As well as the two PTSB accounts, he has an account with AIB in Celbridge as well as two mortgage accounts with EBS.  

There were four AIB accounts in Dame Street, Dublin, and another AIB account in Galway in which he held an interest and were related to Console as well as another account with Natwest in London and Bank of Ireland in Celbridge.

He also has two pension policies with New Ireland Assurance and in 2014, he says he transferred €37,500 from one of those policies to his wife so she could buy a horse called Ecapitola.

He says in 2014, he transferred a 2004 BMW 318CI to Console which he believed was used as a trade in for a Citroen C4.

In January 2015, on his daughter Robyn's 18th birthday, he and his wife gave her a 2013 Fiat 500 car worth around €10,000. 

He also says he has an interest in ten companies related to Console, five of which are directly involved in suicide prevention and bereavement activities. 

The other five are: Interior Art Design, Corporate Management Institute of Ireland Ltd (formerly Torigny), Human Resource Management Associates Ltd, Aspect Recruitment Consultant Ltd and Alexandra College of Higher Education Ltd.

His lawyer Mr MacGuill told the court Tuesday Mr Kelly and his wife were seeking access to the Finglas PTSB current account, which is overdrawn by €160, so they can cash their supplementary welfare cheques, of around €300 per week.

The court heard they needed €396 per week for expenses including for heat, light, food and transport.

The monthly mortgage repayments on their home and the Console premises can simply not be met, Mr MacGuill said.  

The court heard Mr Kelly needed access to documentation held on Console's main computer in relation to payroll, which had been seized by the Director of Corporate Enforcement, so that a P45 could be generated in order to claim unemployment benefit.

Keith Farry BL, for Console, objected to the Kellys have access to the account with €6,700 in it because his client believes that money could only have come from Console.  

Mr Farry also responded to an earlier request from the judge for more information from Console provisional liquidator, Tom Murray, about his (Murray's) "neutral stance" in relation to the Kellys' application to unfreeze the two PTSB accounts.

Mr Farry said the liquidator had written to the Kellys asking they meet with him but there had been "no engagement".

Mr Justice Gilligan said he was prepared to lift the freezing order in relation to the overdrawn PTSB current account to allow the Kellys cash their social welfare cheques and pay out expenses.  

He was not prepared to unfreeze the PTSB savings account until they produced evidence as to where the money in it came from.

He adjourned the matter to July 28.

Earlier, the judge agreed to an application from counsel for Mr Kelly's sister, Joan McKenna, for the original temporary freezing orders against her be vacated after the court heard she has provided sworn statements saying her signature on companies office documentation, which registered her as a director of Console, had been forged.

The judge however refused an application that Ms McKenna be taken out of the proceedings as a defendant altogether.

A lawyer for the Kellys' son, Tim, who has been joined as a fourth defendant, consented to interim freezing orders obtained against him to be continued until the end of the month.

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