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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Kelly 'invented' Console staff to dupe the HSE

Former Console CEO Paul Kelly Photo: Robbie Reynolds
Former Console CEO Paul Kelly Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Eilish O'Regan and Niall O'Connor

Shamed Console charity chief Paul Kelly inflated his staff numbers and overestimated his annual wages bill by as much as nearly €116,000 in a bid to dupe the HSE into giving him bigger payouts.

His elaborate accounting hoax - laid bare in an unpublished audit - led him to provide widely different sets of annual accounts to various agencies.

Accounts provided to the HSE, as part of his application for generous funding for the suicide bereavement charity in 2012, show he claimed to have seven staff and a salary cost of €368,074. But in the same year his accounts submitted to the Companies Registration Office said he had five staff and salaries came to €252,200.

He also told auditors his wife drove an " old jeep" - but it turned out to be a €57,149 Audi car.

The pattern of false accounting was repeated in other years, according to the unpublished HSE audit carried out last year into Console's finances.

The extent of his deceit comes as health officials and interim chief executive David Hall drew up plans to shut down Console and transfer its helpline and counselling services to other organisations with the majority of the work to be provided by Pieta House.

Irish Independent

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