Sunday 25 September 2016

Console director Paul Kelly asked to give back People of the Year award

Published 01/07/2016 | 15:00

Former CEO of Console Paul Kelly Photo: Collins
Former CEO of Console Paul Kelly Photo: Collins

The People of the Year Awards has written to controversial Console director Paul Kelly and asked him to return his award.

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The Awards, run by the Rehab group, said it had made the decision "in light of the revelations in recent days and on foot of queries from members of the public".

Paul Kelly with his People of the Year Award
Paul Kelly with his People of the Year Award

In a statement the body added that it was hoping to "protect the standing and integrity of the awards".

Paul Kelly received a People of the Year Award in 2014 for suicide prevention work through the organisation, Console

The statement continued: "Throughout their distinguished history, the People of the Year Awards have afforded the Irish people the opportunity to honour individuals and groups who have made a contribution to our society.

"The value and esteem of the Awards is based on the high regard that the people of Ireland have for the award recipients and the fact that each of the winners is nominated by members of the public."

The body said that the adjudication panel selected Mr Kelly as an award winner "on the basis of the nomination received and the information available at the time".

"Hundreds of extraordinary people have received awards over more than 40 years. The stories circulating in the media in recent days have the potential to impact on the standing of the awards. As a previous recipient, Mr Kelly is aware of the importance and significance of the Awards to the Irish people and of the importance of upholding their integrity.  We have therefore asked him to return his award voluntarily.

"This award was made to Mr Kelly personally and this request is no reflection on the work of Console, its volunteers or its fundraisers who have helped many thousands of people bereaved by suicide over many years."

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