Sunday 17 December 2017

Dail planning to compel Flannery PAC testimony

Frank Flannery at Leinster House in 2012. Picture: Tom Burke
Frank Flannery at Leinster House in 2012. Picture: Tom Burke

John Downing Political Correspondent

DAIL moves to compel former Rehab boss Frank Flannery to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) look increasingly inevitable.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Independent, Mr Flannery defended his decision not to attend last Thursday's PAC hearing, saying he was merely defending his own rights under the Constitution.

He said if the PAC wished to question him in public session they must set out their agenda and their questions.

PAC chairman John McGuinness dismissed Mr Flannery's assertions saying: "Mr Flannery's attempts to deal with the committee via newspaper interviews is just not acceptable. He is now even more central to our inquiries into €95m in taxpayers' money and €13.5m in public donations given to Rehab last year."

The Sunday Independent also reported that during Mr Flannery's term as Rehab chief executive he authorised a total of €2.5m in fees to management consultant John Hussey. The money averaged €200,000 per year for the years 1994-2005 and there was a further €175,000 to terminate a contract for Mr Hussey, a brother-in-law of former FG Minister Gemma Hussey, in 2005.

Last Thursday, Rehab revealed payments to Mr Flannery totalling €409,000 for the years 2007 to 2013.

It is expected that there are few options beyond moving to use new powers to compel him to attend and that is the most likely outcome.

Irish Independent

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