| 17.4°C Dublin

Former CRC chair tells retired chief to hand back pension

PROBE: Board faces recall as Dail was 'misled'

EVEN if former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely repays more than his wealthy pension the investigation into the payout controversy will continue, a member of the Public Accounts Committee has claimed.

The Dail committee is also intent on recalling the entire former board to explain themselves as Fine Gael TD and committee member Simon Harris says the hearing was "misled".

Former chairman of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) Hamilton Goulding has called on the clinic's former chief executive Paul Kiely to return his €742,000 pension.

Last week's Public Accounts Committee obtained minutes which showed that the CRC board, led by Mr Goulding, agreed and signed off on Mr Kiely's €742,000 package at a special meeting on March 25 last.

Less than a year later, Mr Goulding called on him to return it and explained that the only reason Mr Kiely was paid the large sum, which he described as "horrific", was to save money in the long run.

Mr Goulding argued that €1.4m was saved by paying Mr Kiely off.

However, Simon Harris said that there are number of questions that must be answered and

"I hope that Mr Kiely returns at least a very significant sum of his pay-off, I think even if he does that cannot resolve the directors of their responsibility and Mr Goulding and others can't wash their hands of the decision they made.

"It is an obscene sum of money but there is a major issue in relation to corporate governance and the decisions that were taken.

"So even if Mr Kiely pays back all of the money and €10, we are not at the end of this matter," Mr Harris said on RTE radio.

Mr Harris said Mr Goulding's assertion that the clinic was saving money by paying off Mr Kiely was "quite bizarre".

"We have had witnesses come in from the CRC who seem to have left their memory outside the door," he said.

Mr Goulding said it was his belief that it would be a very good gesture for him to return the €742,000 but added that "it is really a matter for him, I can't preempt his decisions."

"If I were in his shoes at some stage on some level it would be a good thing to do. But that is not my business..

He said Mr Kiely was suffering ill health currently.



"I know the man (Paul Kiely) is quite ill now with the stresses and strains going on. These things are incredibly stressful and maybe he got muddled."

The gardai could be called into investigate when the CRC audit is complete.

Asked if he thought any wrong doing went on at the CRC, Mr Goulding said: "I'd be absolutely astonished if anything illegal had happened, absolutely astonished."

He also said he was "shocked" when he eventually found out Mr Kiely's salary as CEO of the clinic.

He also explained that the former CEO had been at the head of cost-cutting measures at the clinic over the last number of years carrying out the tasks of three to four people.

"We saved millions in management costs which doesn't seem to be realised," stated Mr Goulding.

read andrew Lynch on page 16