Saturday 18 November 2017

Clinic chief on €107,000 salary and top-up of €136,000 was 'watching every ha'penny'

Eilish O'Regan, Nicola Anderson and Emma Jane Hade

FORMER Central Remedial Clinic chief Paul Kiely, who received a €136,000 charity-funded top up, claimed that the managers in his organisation were "skinflints".

He made the remark on its financial efficiency in an interview with the Irish Independent two years ago at a tea party to celebrate the clinic's 60th anniversary.

Mr Kiely, who was also on a state salary of €106,900, said: "We're skinflints, we watch every ha'penny."

Meanwhile, a number of other disability organisations said yesterday they were in breach of pay policy but that this did not always necessarily refer to top-ups in salaries.

Denis Cronin, head of the Daughters of Charity, said his organisation paid no top-ups from any source. The breach referred to a motor allowance which he gets in lieu of mileage for which benefit in kind is paid.

The organisation has services in Dublin, Limerick and north Tipperary.

"The allowance was considered appropriate and approved by the board. It is now under review," the charity stated.

Vincent O'Flynn, chief of the Carriglea Cairde Services in Waterford, said it was deemed not to be in compliance because it was providing income-continuance benefit to some long-serving staff.

No member of staff is on a top-up.

A spokeswoman for the Brothers of Charity said all salaries were funded by its HSE allocation, not charity income.

It added that a small number of "historical" salary scales, outside those set by the Department of Health, were in place with the department's approval.

A spokesman for the Muiriosa Foundation in Monasterevin, Co Kildare, said that in 2009 it had to close its defined benefit scheme, which has 57 active and deferred members.

The Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, which run the service, used the order's funds to "rescue" the benefits.

A senior member of staff also has a contract which includes a particular pension arrangement which was entered into when there was a competitive market for people with certain expertise. No private donations or charity funds are used for remuneration.

Meanwhile, Miriam Ahern, former wife of Bertie Ahern, who is a leading fundraiser for the children's charity CARI, said the current controversy was "very worrying for people".

Speaking at a CARI function in Dublin, she added: "I don't know the whole facts, but I would like to reassure people that the money we collect all goes towards the charity."

Irish Independent

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