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Charity 'would be insolvent if it paid €500,000 owed to ex-CEO'

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Resource: Brian Hogan served as chief executive of Don Bosco Care

Resource: Brian Hogan served as chief executive of Don Bosco Care

Resource: Brian Hogan served as chief executive of Don Bosco Care

A charity providing residential care for vulnerable young people would be insolvent if it had to immediately pay approximately €500,000 owed to its former chief executive, a HSE audit has found.

It revealed that Don Bosco Care, a Dublin charity that provides residential care homes for vulnerable young people, had used money earmarked for the CEO's ­salary for alternative purposes.

The audit carried out by the HSE on behalf of Tusla found that an annual sum of €100,000 provided by a donor to fund the CEO's salary was spent instead on fundraising.

As a consequence it said Don Bosco Care did not have the resources to pay the salary of its former chief executive, Brian Hogan.

The audit noted that the Department of Children and the board of management at Oberstown Children Detention Campus only approved the role of the chief executive on condition the cost of his salary would not be met from public monies.

Don Bosco Care said a donor only agreed to fund the post to the annual amount of €100,000 until the cost could be met by fundraising income.

Don Bosco Care, which operates as a company limited by guarantee, manages six houses which provide residential care to 12- to 19-year-olds, as well as providing aftercare and outreach services.

It currently has a staff of 53.

Approximately €2.8m of its total income of over €3.2m in 2018 was provided by Tusla.

The company said it had unsuccessfully made repeated attempts to get invoices from Oberstown in 2015 for the chief executive's post.

All of the money was reallocated after two years to seed funding for its fundraising division. It said the donor had not paid the last non-contractual contribution of €100,000 towards Mr Hogan's salary.

The audit said Don Bosco Care was in negotiations over the payment of the amount due to Mr Hogan at the time of its completion last November. It observed that no chief executive was in place at the time with the board's chairperson, Tony McPoland, effectively taking on the role.

The audit also recommended management should ensure monies were not spent on alcohol after it found that Mr Hogan, who is deputy director at Oberstown, had spent €582 in 2017 and €482 in 2018 on alcohol, including four purchases of whiskey at Dublin Airport.

Mr Hogan told auditors the expenditure was on "relatively small amounts to bring a gift… to people who were usually hosting accommodation or food and transport for myself and my colleagues".

The audit also found that Mr Hogan's trip to Malta in November 2018 for a European monitoring programme for young people in care was paid for by the charity though his contract of employment had expired at the time. He said the trip was booked in August 2018 before he knew he was leaving.

Meanwhile, an organisation that is publicly funded to promote dental health spent €120 on alcohol at a Christmas lunch, another HSE audit revealed.

The audit also expressed serious concern about oversight of the Dental Health Foundation (DHF), and how some of its funding was spent.

It promotes oral health and is predominantly funded by the State to the tune of over €522,323 in 2017, including €308,023 from the HSE.

The audit found there were no formal service agreements with the HSE. It spent €473 on a trustee Christmas lunch, including €120 on alcohol. The audit also found it paid €100 for a One4All voucher. The audit found €1,884 paid for "car journeys with no justification".

A spokeswoman for the organisation said yesterday it was fulfilling all of the auditor's recommendations.

Irish Independent