Saturday 20 January 2018

Console architect's hospitalisation to affect efforts to unravel finances

Console founder Paul Kelly Picture: Conor McCabe
Console founder Paul Kelly Picture: Conor McCabe
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Untangling the complicated finances of Console will prove "doubly difficult" following the hospitalisation of the suicide charity’s founder, the High Court has been told.

Solicitor James MacGuill, who came on record for Paul Kelly and his wife Patricia only minutes before a High Court hearing yesterday, said Mr Kelly was being treated as an inpatient at a psychiatric facility.

The disclosure comes after weeks of controversy surrounding Mr Kelly’s stewardship of the charity.

He resigned as chief executive almost a fortnight ago after an ‘RTÉ Investigates’ programme revealed a range of irregularities, including payments of €215,000 to its directors from 2010-2012.

As a tax-exempted charity, directors are not entitled to payments.

His wife Patricia also resigned as a director.

Mr MacGuill’s clients have until Monday afternoon to comply with a number of orders for the disclosure of information to interim Console CEO David Hall.

This includes details of asset transfers dating back to January 2012, as well as details of bank accounts and information about companies, trusts and foundations that they may have been involved in.

Mr MacGuill had sought two weeks to compile the information.

However, this was strenuously objected to by counsel for Console, Martin Hayden SC.

He said Mr and Ms Kelly had “shown themselves to be untrustworthy” and there had been “no transparency” around what had been done with funds donated to the charity.

“The longer this goes on the more difficult it will be to get to the bottom of things,” said Mr Hayden.

Mr MacGuill told Mr Justice Paul Gilligan his fear was that he may not be able to provide full information if the time frame was tight.

Referring to Mr Kelly’s hospitalisation, he said: “This would be difficult in the normal course of events. But it is now doubly difficult due to the medical situation.” 

However, Mr Justice Gilligan observed that even though Mr Kelly was hospitalised, his wife Patricia was available to assist.

Although Mr Kelly was a notable absentee from court yesterday, his wife was present, sitting in the public gallery throughout.

She was not called to give evidence and made no comment as she left afterwards.

Irish Independent

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