Friday 20 October 2017

Flannery 'must go before PAC'


John Drennan and Mark O'Regan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's key political strategist, Frank Flannery, is under intense pressure to explain €77,000 in payments he received from Rehab for lobbying the Government.

In a sign of growing anger in Fine Gael over the party being dragged into the Rehab scandal, the Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe, declared yesterday that Mr Flannery, his party's key backroom adviser and Rehab director, must now come before the powerful Public Accounts Committee.

The storm over how Rehab conducts its affairs intensified as it emerged that CEO Angela Kerins was rushed to hospital on Thursday with severe abdominal pain.

Ms Kerins, who appeared before the PAC days before she was hospitalised, has been sent a list of 12 points on which the PAC wants further clarification. Rehab faced criticism over its initial failure to disclose that Ms Kerins has a salary package of €240,000 a year – much more than the salary of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Mr Flannery was paid a total of €77,000 for alleged lobbying activities.

He was paid for lobbying the Departments of Justice, Education and Social Protection, according to invoices submitted to the charity in late 2011 and 2012 from Mr Flannery's firm, Laragh Consulting Ltd.

Mr Flannery was unavailable for comment yesterday.

PAC chairman John McGuinness said Mr Flannery needs to "swiftly appear'' before the committee to "calm growing public disquiet about the charity sector in general and Rehab in particular''.

Sunday Independent

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