Thursday 18 January 2018

Taoiseach: The 'top-up' situation at CRC is 'unacceptable'

Taoiseach is offered a ceremonial drink of sake(Japanese rice wine) while on visit to Meiji Shurine.
Taoiseach is offered a ceremonial drink of sake(Japanese rice wine) while on visit to Meiji Shurine.

By Lise Hand in Tokyo

THE Taoiseach has described the Central Remedial Clinic's (CRC) use of charitable donations to top up the salaries of executives as "not acceptable in any circumstances" and that these donations were "the people's money".

Speaking in Tokyo today Mr Kenny said, "The ordinary person who either pays their direct debit or goes out and collects on flag days or pays their money through whatever method to another facility, they fully expect that that money is still going for the children and for the facilities that they use".

Mr Kenny's criticism comes in the wake of a call for the CRC Board's resignation from Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.  The board has come under mounting pressure to resign over the use of charitable donations to top up the salary of former chief executive Paul Kiely. The clinic admitted last week that Mr Kiely's State salary of €106,000 was topped up with €136,000 in funds donated by the public, in breach of public sector pay rules.

It also used public donations to top up the salaries of several other executives. Brian Conlan, the current CRC chief executive, is a new appointee and is not receiving top-ups.

Mr Kenny condemned the revelations which have outraged members of the public who fund-raise for the organisation. "To have a situation like this is not acceptable in any circumstances," he said. "This is a difficult time of the year now for charities that are actually working really well in the interests of using the money that they raise for what it's intended. It's no excuse to say that the money for the top-up for CRC was raised by another facility. It was raised with people's money. And if people give money for something like CRC, they would expect it to be used for those who require it and deserve it and they're the children with the challenges that they face."

The Taoiseach is starting a four-day visit to Japan which will include meetings with prime minster Shinzo Abe and also the Crown Prince Naruhito.

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