Shane Ross: A unique cabal of rogues, or just the Irish way?
THIS Sunday the HSE is smelling of roses. That takes some doing. It could have searched for donkeys years for a cabal of characters to make it look like a group of heroes. Last Thursday it found them. The disgraced, departed directors of the Central Remedial Clinic made Ireland's health dinosaur resemble an unsung pussy cat.
On Wednesday evening the battered HSE released a letter to members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with the most staggering revelation to date. Their man, now installed in charge of the CRC, had been doing a bit of digging. He had discovered a deeply buried secret. The departed chief executive, Paul Kiely, had received an extra €740,000 to ease his way into retirement. The payment was supposed to be a secret. Board members, summoned to a special meeting in March, were obliged to take it to their graves. God help them if the public ever found out that the boss was riding off into the sunset with his saddle bags full of charity money.
Kiely's short-lived successor, Brian Conlan, seemed to take the "legally binding" confidentiality agreement, pledging eternal secrecy about Kiely's monstrous payout, pretty seriously. He told the PAC that he had not known anything about the huge golden handshake until last Wednesday night. Just like the rest of us, he was "shocked". Ahem.