Wednesday 21 November 2018

Further investigations into Console charity bring to light transactions between its sister organisation in the UK, court hears

Console’s founder Paul Kelly
Console’s founder Paul Kelly

Tim Healy

Further investigations into the suicide bereavement counselling charity, Console, have brought to light transactions between its sister organisation in the UK, the High Court heard Friday (July 1).

Further information had also emerged about three linked properties around the country as well as about a Paypal account, the court heard.

Freezing orders obtained by the interim CEO of Console in Ireland on Thursday should be notified to the English bank which handled the UK-Ireland transactions, Keith Farry BL for Console said.

Mr Farry said since the orders were obtained against Paul Kelly and his wife Patricia Dowling, and his sister, Joan McKenna, preventing them accessing its accounts,  links with the UK charity which is called "Console Suicide Prevention Ltd" had come to light.

It followed further investigations by Mr Hall, who was appointed by the other Console directors and who brought the court proceedings to ensure the charity's services are maintained and to secure its assets.

The trustees of the UK body were Mr Kelly and his wife, their son Tim Kelly, and the name of a fourth trustee allegedly appointed on May 7, 2015, was a "Cecelia Larkin", Mr Farry said.

The court was informed on Thursday other directors of the Irish charity did not even know they were directors much less what was going on in it.

Mr Farry said the May 2015 accounts of the UK charity state the Irish organisation received two sums totalling st£31,684 for providing management and administration services, including consultancy work.

The transactions were on a Natwest Bank account in London.  While there may be difficulties extending the freezing orders to a UK bank, Mr Farry was seeking the court's permission to put Natwest on notice of Thursday's orders of the High Court, Mr Farry said.

Also of concern was a Paypal account which was used to receive donations to Console and Mr Farry would be seeking to have that account ring fenced as soon as full details of it are obtained.

Searches were also being conducted in relation to three properties, one in Tralee, Co Kerry, another in Cork and a third eight-bed property in Galway.  These fell within the freezing orders made on Thursday but there had been no information about them at the time the freezing application was made, counsel said.

Mr Farry said there had been difficulties in serving notices of Thursday's proceedings personally on the Kellys, although a solicitor had been nominated to represent Ms McKenna.  He was now seeking an order that they be allowed serve them by alternative means.

Console's solicitor called to the Kelly address at Alexandra Manor, Clane, Co Kildare, and found the property had electric gates and there no response when he rang.  The postbox was over flowing with letters and it appeared nobody had been there for some time.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan granted Mr Farry permission to serve the proceedings on the Kellys at their email addresses after hearing other mails sent to Mr Kelly appeared to have been received, but not responded to.

Other matters will be dealt with when the case returns to court next week.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News