Monday 19 February 2018

'Why did everyone sit on their backsides after Prime Time?' - Former interim CEO of Console David Hall criticises reaction to charity controversy

Interim CEO David Hall leaving court. Pic: Collins Courts
Interim CEO David Hall leaving court. Pic: Collins Courts

Tomás Heneghan

The former interim CEO of Console David Hall has criticised reaction to the recent controversy following the original Prime Time expose.

Mr Hall was speaking to RTE’s Liveline on Friday afternoon when he labelled the immediate response to the controversy as “flawed”.

He said: “I think the most important component here is the reaction…it needed decisive action.”

He also asked: “Why did everyone sit on their backsides after Prime Time?”

Mr Hall questioned the reaction by media and some members of the public, saying: “The media and some parts of the public had a different [focus] to me.”

He said his focus since beginning his work with the suicide bereavement charity was on the service users and the staff.

He explained: “The vast majority, over 95%, [of service users] stayed.”

However he said there was more than one group heavily impacted by the scandal. He identified these as individuals with suicidal thoughts and the bereaved families of victims of suicide.

He said the families have had “ the memory of their loved one trampled on”.

During his interview with Liveline presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes, Mr Hall also paid tribute to the staff and those who assisted him in his work as interim CEO.

He said: “It was a phenomenal team effort.

“The staff have stood their ground under immense pressure.”

He added: “The only people who saved this service were the staff.

“This is a living breathing front line service with all the normal nuances of that”

Mr Hall told the show he has now finished his term as interim CEO of Console and the charity is now in the hands of liquidators.

He explained: “A process was put in place. We ended that process yesterday.”

Referencing Thursday’s announcement by the HSE of the takeover of Console services by Pieta House, Mr Hall said he is pleased the services will be continued.

“Now that the services are in safe hands and are being continued with, [this] is most important.”

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