The Central Remedial Clinic provides valuable services to children and adults – and a lifeline to parents. Their frontline staff have been praised for the services and care they provide. However, it is the actions of the former board of the CRC which has catapulted them into the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
1. Paul Kiely is the former chairman of the CRC board. Last summer, Mr Kiely was paid €742,000 as part of a pension retirement package. This money was found to have come from charity funds. This emerged before the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday afternoon.
2. In December, Mr Kiely appeared before the PAC. During his appearance before the PAC, he confirmed he was granted a €200,000 lump sum and a pension of nearly €100,000 when he took early retirement last June.
3. The €742,000 paid to Mr Kiely included a tax-free sum of €200,000, plus a taxable €273,336 payout and €268,669 for his pension fund. This was agreed in a confidential deal.
4. The board of the CRC stepped down in December. The HSE have taken over the board in the interim and carried out an audit where the €742,000 pension pay-out to Mr Kiely was uncovered and the PAC were informed during yesterday’s hearings.
5. The HSE have confirmed they have sought legal advice about the matter. PAC chairman John McGuinness said there “may be a role” for gardai and corporate officers to examine the issues.
6. HSE Human Resources executive Barry O’Brien said the HSE would attempt to recover some of the money paid to Mr Kiely if it was found not to be “good and proper”.
7. Brian Conlan also appeared before the PAC yesterday. He was Mr Kiely’s successor – but resigned from the role in December following the first wave of revelations that charitable funds for the CRC were being used to pay charity top ups to staff members
8. Mr Conlan told the PAC he applied for the role as internal candidate following Mr Kiely’s retirement. It emerged from documents supplied to the PAC that Mr Conlan was appointed to a sub-committee, as part of his role as a board member of the CRC, to oversee the appointment of Mr Kiely’s successor. He was subsequently appointed to this role himself.
9. Mr Conlan was given an annual salary of €125,000, which included a top-up of approximately €40,000. He said he never received the full amount of €40,000 as he wasn’t in the job long enough. He said he was not aware of the retirement package for Mr Kiely.
10. When the top-ups controversy first arose in December, Mr Conlan said he was on honeymoon in the US at the time. When he returned home, he was left stressed by the tone and volume of the media coverage. He said he believed all the money given to the CRC was “pooled” into one fund. He said he was aware of ‘top-ups’ but planned to ‘phase out’ the practice.