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Sunday 21 September 2014

Flannery yet to decide if he will appear before PAC

John Downing, Political Correspondent

Published 05/04/2014 | 02:30

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Frank Flannery. Photo: Collins
Frank Flannery. Photo: Collins

FORMER Rehab CEO Frank Flannery has said he remains undecided about appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) next week.

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Doubts about his appearance and that of Angela Kerins, who announced she was quitting Rehab this week, will increase political tensions ahead of next Thursday's hearing. Mr Flannery was a longtime Fine Gael election strategist for Taoiseach Enda Kenny until he quit as Fine Gael director of elections four weeks ago.

The Taoiseach has already said Mr Flannery and Ms Kerins should appear at the PAC. Yesterday Mr Flannery said he was seeking ways to co-operate with the committee's work, but still has to decide about the hearing.

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"I have written to the committee and want to co-operate in every way I can. But I have yet to decide about the hearing. There are complicating factors – that is all I can say," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr Flannery would not be drawn on these 'complicating factors', but it is understood they relate to a letter to the PAC from developer John Kelly, which the committee has passed to the gardai.

Mr Flannery said he resigned from the Rehab board as he wanted to end it becoming embroiled in political controversy and quit Fine Gael for similar reasons.

On February 27 last, Angela Kerins attended a PAC meeting and gave evidence. But the PAC members were dissatisfied with her replies about salaries and other payments. They fixed the return hearing for next week.

In his letter to the PAC, Mr Kelly is understood to make a series of claims relating to his efforts to purchase Rehab's headquarters in Sandymount, Dublin, in 2006.

The developer has made a series of claims in an interview with this newspaper, including saying he spent €100,000 entertaining outgoing Rehab boss, Ms Kerins, and public relations firm executive Michael Parker.

Mr Kelly claims he discussed the sale of the Rehab headquarters with Ms Kerins and Mr Parker – but both have strongly denied Mr Kelly's allegations.

Separately, Rehab has confirmed that at one stage it considered selling its headquarters but then decided against it.

Yesterday, this newspaper revealed that Mr Kelly has been interviewed by gardai about the allegations he has made.

Irish Independent

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