News Courts

Sunday 25 September 2016

Shamed Console boss can send application for social welfare cash

Tim Healy

Published 29/07/2016 | 02:30

Former charity boss Paul Kelly
Former charity boss Paul Kelly

The disgraced founder of Console, Paul Kelly, has been given the green light to begin his application for social welfare.

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The High Court has confirmed the appointment of a liquidator to the scandal-hit suicide counselling charity.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan confirmed Tom Murray, who was last week appointed provisional liquidator, to officially wind up the company which ran the charity, Console Suicide Bereavement Counselling Ltd.

The court heard sufficient payroll records had been made available to allow for the creation of a P45 document for Mr Kelly for social welfare purposes. The judge also ordered its directors and former directors to file statements of affairs to the liquidator by September 21.

Those registered as directors are: Ursula Mulkerrins, Bowling Green, Galway; Gerard Tiernan, Bloomfield Drive, Athlone, Co Westmeath; and Angela McGovern, Smithstown, Maynooth, Co Kildare.

The two others who recently resigned are Paul Kelly's wife Patricia and his sister Joan Burke-McKenna.

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

The judge said that, while the normal time for filing a statement of affairs was 21 days, in the circumstances of this case he was extending that deadline.

This was due to the fact that the charity's books and records were currently being catalogued and scanned by the Director of Corporate Enforcement (DCE), a process which was taking some time.

The judge said he expected copies of those records to be made available to the liquidator by the DCE's office within 14 days and hoped that extra resources would be applied, given the urgency of the matter.

Stephen Brady BL, for the liquidator, said it had not been possible for his client to "get to the bottom" of who exactly were the directors of Console due to the fact that the documents were still with the DCE. This was not a criticism of the DCE, but just a matter of practicality in that scanning and cataloguing took time, he said.

Mr Brady also said the liquidator had met with Mr and Mrs Kelly on Wednesday but it was not possible to address all issues without the books and records. "All I can say is the investigations are ongoing", counsel said.

Application

The court also heard there had been a happy transition of Console's services to Pieta House following the last court hearing. Discussions are also well advanced between Pieta and the HSE about putting in place a longer-term agreement.

James McGuill, solicitor for the Kellys, said his application to give his clients access to a frozen account containing €6,700 - which Console says belongs to it - could not be dealt with until the books and records were available. The case comes back to court on October 13.

Irish Independent

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