Wednesday 21 February 2018

Paul Kelly once spent €37k on a horse - now he's cashing in on the dole

Former Console chief Paul Kelly Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Former Console chief Paul Kelly Picture: Robbie Reynolds

Tim Healy

Paul Kelly and his wife spent €10,000 on a car for their daughter's 18th birthday, and splashed out €37,500 on a horse.

But now a freezing order on one of the bank accounts of the Console charity founder and his wife Patricia has been lifted - to enable them to cash their €300-a-week social welfare cheque.

Apart from €6,700 in another savings account, both of which are with Permanent TSB in Finglas, Dublin, the Kellys have no other cash assets, their solicitor James MacGuill told the High Court.

There is an outstanding mortgage with EBS of €428,000 on their home at Alexandara Manor, Abbeylands, Clane, which is worth about €600,000.

There is also an outstanding €225,000 charge in favour of EBS on a home at Whitethorn Grove, Celbridge, which was later turned into a Console office.

Total monthly payments on these properties amount to €5,300.

As well as the two PTSB accounts, Mr Kelly has an account with AIB in Celbridge as well as the two mortgage accounts with EBS. He also has two pension policies with New Ireland Assurance and, in 2014, he says he transferred €37,500 from one to his wife so she could buy a horse, called Ecapitola.

In January 2015, on his daughter Robyn's 18th birthday, he and his wife gave her a 2013 Fiat 500 car worth around €10,000.

He also says he has an interest in 10 companies related to Console, five of which are involved in suicide prevention.

Mr MacGuill told the court that Mr Kelly, pictured right, and his wife were seeking access to the Finglas PTSB current account, which is overdrawn by €160, so they can cash their supplementary welfare cheques, of around €300 per week. They needed €396 per week for expenses including heat, light, food and transport.

The monthly mortgage repayments on their home and the Console premises can simply not be met, Mr MacGuill said.

Keith Farry BL, for Console, objected to the Kellys having access to the account with €6,700 in it because his client believes that money came from Console.

Mr Farry also responded to an earlier request from the judge for more information from provisional liquidator Tom Murray. He said the liquidator had written to the Kellys asking that they meet him, but there had been "no engagement".

Mr Justice Gilligan said he was prepared to lift the freezing order in relation to the overdrawn PTSB current account to allow the Kellys to cash their social welfare cheques and pay out expenses. However, he was not prepared to unfreeze the PTSB savings account without evidence as to where the money in it came from. 

He adjourned the matter to July 28.

Earlier, the judge agreed to an application from counsel for Mr Kelly's sister, Joan McKenna, for temporary freezing orders against her to be vacated.

The court heard she has provided sworn statements saying her signature on companies office documentation had been forged. However, the judge refused an application that Ms McKenna be taken out of the proceedings as a defendant altogether.

A lawyer for the Kellys' son Tim consented to interim freezing orders to be continued until the end of the month.

Irish Independent

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