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Saturday 10 December 2016

CRC 'not in a position' to repay €3m interest-free loan to charity wing

Published 02/12/2015 | 13:00

Central Remedial Clinic, Clontarf. Dublin. Photo: Tony Gavin
Central Remedial Clinic, Clontarf. Dublin. Photo: Tony Gavin

The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) is "not in a position" to repay an interest-free loan of €3m it advanced three years ago from its charity wing.

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RTE News confirmed that the interest-free, long-term loan was provided by the Friends and Supporters of the CRC at the time to help the clinic fund its pension liabilities.

The directors of the clinic "remain of the view that the company is not in a position to repay this loan and as a result made a formal request to F&S that this loan would be regarded by F&S as unrecoverable", the 2014 audited accounts for the CRC read.

The latest audited accounts also show a long-term pension liability at the clinic of €9.2m.

More than €13m of remaining assets of the charity wing will be transferred to the CRC this year.

The clinic found itself in the headlines in 2013 when it was revealed that some pension top-ups were paid by using donations that were given to the charity wing of the clinic.

A new board of directors has since been appointed at the clinic and an interim administrator was also appointed by the HSE.

It was the interim administrator's report in May 2014 that drew attention to the €3m interest-free loan.

The accounts also show that the CRC made a surplus of €140,752 last year, compared with a deficit of €721,845 the previous year.

In response to the RTE report today, the CRC has issued the following statement:

"The current Directors of the CRC resolved that public and private funds will only be spent in relation to furthering the wellbeing and health of people with disabilities. The Central Remedial Clinic made a formal request to Friends and Supporters Ltd to write off a loan of €3m, advanced to it in 2012 to help finance the CRC's pension liabilities. This request was disclosed in the latest CRC annual accounts and F&S have agreed to the request. As a charity the CRC does not have the means to repay a loan to Friends and Supporters Ltd and cannot undo the actions of previous years, leaving no alternative but to make this request.

"The May 2014 report of the Interim Administrator of the CRC recommended that the Friends and Supporters Ltd be wound up. The CRC's latest financial report from 13 Nov 2015 stated that the remaining assets of the F&S are due to be transferred to the CRC this year (the F&S has assets of over €13m). The transfer of assets from Friends and Supporters to the CRC has been agreed and all funds received by F&S since September 2014 have gone directly to the CRC to support the delivery of services. The remaining assets will be transferred in coming months.

"The long-term pension liability of the CRC is €9.2m, as disclosed in the CRC's latest accounts. The Directors of the CRC, newly-appointed in early 2014, intend that no funds under their control will be spent in relation to pension liabilities, and indeed that funds received from public and private support should be used to further the wellbeing and health of people with disabilities."

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