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Sunday 18 March 2018

Parents of late Donal Walsh 'shocked, disappointed and deflated' by Console revelations

Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

THE father of the late cancer campaigner Donal Walsh has expressed his disappointment with recent revelations over suicide charity Console.

Its founder Paul Kelly, alongside his wife Patricia and their son Tim, are accused of running up credit card bills of almost €500,000 between 2012 and 2014 while he was CEO of the charity.

Yesterday the High Court granted a number of injunctions preventing Mr Kelly from accessing its bank accounts and credit cards.

The court granted an injunction restraining Mr Kelly, his wife Patricia and former director Joan McKenna from interfering with the economic, commercial or public interests of the charity.

READ MORE: 'We exposed Kelly 26 years ago, I guess some people never change' 

The family of the late Donal Walsh raised funds to provide 'Donal's Rooms' in several Console locations around the country - rooms specifically designed for teenagers.

Fionnbar and Elma Walsh, parents of the late Donal Walsh
Fionnbar and Elma Walsh, parents of the late Donal Walsh

His father Fionnbar Walsh told RTE's Morning Ireland that the family are disappointed by the revelations - but that they believe all money they  raised for the rooms was properly spent.

"We have evidence of what we wanted to do with the process .

READ MORE: 'I told the HSE in 2008 about deception by Console' 

"We contributed in the region of €30,000 to Console. But it was for Donal Walsh rooms to be provided in their houses up and down the country.

"There teenage counselling rooms and they're there to the memory of Donal. Donal spoke out about young people asking for help, and it was particularly teenagers.

"They dealt with suicide, suicide prevention and they approached us with regard to providing Donal's rooms in their facilities."

However Mr Walsh said that charity is still doing valuable work - and urged the public to separate what he termed a 'corporate governance' issue from the work the charity does on the ground.

"As far as we we're concerned, the one thing we'd like to remind people is that Console is still providing counselling services. This is a corporate governance issue - don't throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one."

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