Interim CEO of Console gets permission to break lock on storage unit 'rented by Paul Kelly'
THE High Court has given permission to the interim chief executive of bereavement counselling charity Console to break the lock on a storage unit believed to have been rented by its founder a few days after irregularities in the organisation were revealed publicly.
David Hall, interim CEO, was also given permission to inspect and remove any documents or material relating to Console from Unit G9, Remedy Self Storage, Tougher Business Park, Naas, Co Kildare.
Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said reporting of the order should not take place until 3.30pm to give Mr Hall an opportunity to get to the Naas unit and to notify local gardai of the order.
Martin Hayden SC (with Keith Farry BL), for Console, said there was an urgency to the application because Mr Hall believes the charity is still in serious and exceptional danger.
In an affidavit, Mr Hall said he received a phone call last Friday (July 1) following an interview he gave on the Joe Duffy Show on RTE radio "from a person saying they had important information".
He was told that on June 28 last, Paul Kelly and his wife Patricia had been seen at the self storage unit. Mr Hall made enquires and confirmed that on June 28, Mr Kelly had rented a unit there and had paid cash for it.
Mr Hall is unaware if the cash was withdrawn from Console's accounts or credit cards.
He was informed Mr Kelly made one delivery to the unit on June 28, driving an Audi Q5, while he and his wife made as second delivery the same day, using a Mercedes vehicle. Mr Hall said he was informed by a source Mrs Kelly was at the door of the container unit while Mr Kelly appeared to be inside.
Mr Hall said said contrary to last Thursday's court order preventing the Kellys accessing Console bank and other accounts, and ordering the return of property, he had not been provided with any documentation about the storage unit or its contents.
He did not know what documents property or other monies are in the unit and he believed both the company premises, records and documents are still accessible to Mr Kelly, his wife and to Mr Kelly's sister, Joan McKenna.
Earlier, Mr Justice Gilligan was told by a lawyer for Ms McKenna she was never a director of the organisation.
Jim Bridgeman BL, for Ms McKenna, was asking the court for more time to file an affidavit in response to last Thursday's order preventing her and her co-defendants, the Kellys, from accessing Console's finances.
Mr Bridgeman said that order required his client to deliver a replying affidavit to the proceedings Monday (July 4) evening in advance of the return of the case before the court tomorrow.
Mr Bridgeman asked for more time and for the case be put back to later this week.
He said his client was prepared to give certain undertakings and she was "never a director" of the Console company.
Mr Justice Gilligan said he could "explain that in due course" but he was not prepared to break up the case to have two of the defendants (Kelly and wife) dealt with on one day and the third (Ms McKenna) on another day.
He said there was no reason the affidavit could not be sworn and ready by 9.30am on Tuesday. If Ms McKenna's lawyers could not do so, he would review the matter then.