Sunday 19 November 2017

Rehab controversy: the timeline

Former Minister for Health Mary Harney
Former Minister for Health Mary Harney

July 8, 2010: Then health minister Mary Harney expresses concern about "disturbing" salaries in state-funded disability organisations.

March 17, 2011: The 'Phoenix' magazine reports that Angela Kerins's salary was in excess of €300,000. When a bonus, pension, car benefits and expenses are factored in, the figure rose to more than €400,000, the magazine claimed.

March 28, 2011: The Government announces a review of salaries paid to senior executives in state-funded organisations that provide services to people with disabilities.

April 21, 2011: A statement is issued by Rehab Group chairman Brian Kerr. It discloses that Ms Kerins's salary is €234,000 with no bonus payments, but with the use of a company car. Mr Kerr said Ms Kerins had taken a voluntary pay cut of 10pc in 2010.

He said it was not the policy of the group to comment on individuals' salaries, but they had decided to do so on this occasion due to "seriously inaccurate, wild and unfair speculation" about Mrs Kerins's package.

May 20, 2011: Health Minister Dr James Reilly writes to the board of Rehab requesting a report on Ms Kerins's remuneration package.

June 7, 2011: Mr Kerr responds saying the remuneration of the chief executive was not a matter in which Dr Reilly had a role. However, he said he was happy "in a spirit of co-operation and goodwill" to attach the statement of April 21 to his letter.

March 6, 2012: An internal Department of Health memo emerges revealing how officials had major concerns over the lack of transparency over how much certain charity chief executives were being paid.

November 5, 2012: A Government senator, Fine Gael's Fidelma Healy Eames, calls for Ms Kerins to appear before the Public Accounts Committee because she "earns more than the Taoiseach".

October 29, 2013: Rehab refused to answer questions about Ms Kerins' salary when the Irish Independent surveyed leading charity executives.

January 6, 2014: Speaking to journalists as part of a government-led trade mission in Saudi Arabia, Ms Kerins refused to reveal her salary. Despite being silent on her own remuneration, she insists that charities needed to be more upfront and transparent about their financial dealings.

January 21, 2014: Justice Minister Alan Shatter reveals in the Dail that Rehab's scratch card lottery game made less than €10,000 in profit in 2010 on the back of €4m in sales. The revelation causes uproar.

January 23, 2014: Taoiseach Enda Kenny joins several government ministers in calling on Ms Kerins to reveal her salary.

January 27, 2014: Rehab's board announces it has commissioned a series of reports into salaries of senior officials and data protection issues and will use these to decide whether to release the salary of Ms Kerins.

February 13, 2014: The Public Accounts Committee resolves to call in Rehab for questioning.

February 17, 2014: The Rehab board reveals that Ms Kerins's salary is now €240,000.

Irish Independent

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