Wednesday 25 April 2018

HSE to investigate €2m in secret payments to St John of God’s senior managers

Independent Alliance Minister Finian McGrath. Photo: Tom Burke
Independent Alliance Minister Finian McGrath. Photo: Tom Burke
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

THE HSE is to investigate €2m in secret payments to St John of God’s senior managers.

The money was paid to senior execs in 2013 despite strict caps on payments to charity staff when a charity is largely funded by the state.

Some €125m of the organisations €150m budget is funded by the HSE. However the charity has said that no pubic money was used to make the payments.

The HSE is also set to be called before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions about how public funds are overseen when they are paid to charities.

Minister of State with responsibility for disabilities Finian McGrath said he is awaiting the result of the HSE review.

“There are two things happening now. The HSE are meeting St John Of God’s to discuss the issue and there will be a complete review of services and funding. I’ll await the review and decide what’s going to happen,” he told

“I’m appalled at some of the information that has come out in relation to top-ups, there can be no secret deals in section 38 organisations.

“Secondly there can be no cuts to frontline services. I’m meeting service providers in the coming weeks and I will make it clear that I will not accept any messing around with families and services for people with disabilities,” he said.

Speaking on RTÉ's Marian Finucane Show, Seán Fleming, said that the HSE will be forced to answer questions following the revelations of misspending in Console and also the St John of Gods top-ups which were revealed in a Mail on Sunday investigation.

The charity has moved to reassure taxpayers that the money did not come from public funds and has said that the believe the payments were “the correct thing to do” based on professional advice it sought.

“The payments were made by the Order to discharge contractual obligations with managers. The payments did not impact in any manner or at any time, on the provision of services and supports.

“While The Order believes it is in compliance with public pay policy, it welcomes any review by the HSE into this matter. The Order is keen to fully co-operate with such a process, as soon as it is initiated. It has already shared with the HSE, the independent professional advice it received in 2013,” a spokesman for St John of Gods said.

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