Friday 23 February 2018

Former Console chief Paul Kelly plans to apply for social welfare

Paul Kelly and (inset) his wife Patricia
Paul Kelly and (inset) his wife Patricia Newsdesk Newsdesk

The former boss of Console plans to apply for social welfare payments - it has emerged.

The Sunday Business Post is reporting that Paul Kelly will also seek to have a High Court order freezing his assets lifted.

The order, granted on July 5 restricted him and his wife Patricia from accessing their assets.

It is believed that he wants to have the order in relation to his wife lifted so that they can have living expenses. He wants to be allowed repay €3,500 a month on the couple's home in Clane, Co Kildare as well as €1,600 a month on their office.

Concerns about Console were first raised in a Prime Time documentary on June 23.

In the fallout, businessman and campaigner David Hall was brought in as interim chief executive and within days he asked the High Court to freeze the charity's accounts and assets.

Details from the internal HSE audit revealed how Mr Kelly, his wife and son accounted for spending of almost €1m over three years, in salaries, cars and on credit cards for clothes, groceries and foreign travel.

Last weekend, it emerged that a horse owned by the Kellys was stolen from its Longford stables in the aftermath of the scandal, by men pretending to be gardai. The horse was bought last year for €37,500 and a trade-in pony.

It is understood that gardai have identified a number of possible suspects.

After three weeks of turmoil, last Thursday marked the end of the road for Console. The High Court heard it was "hopelessly insolvent". Mr Hall told the court it had debts of €294,000, and had been loss-making for years, even though the accounts might have shown otherwise.

There were more twists to the saga yesterday, when the HSE appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

It emerged that in 2008, a HSE executive was appointed chief executive with Console, with the agreement that his old job would be left open for him. He left Console after 12 months or so and is back working for the HSE.

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