Ex-charity boss and family 'earned €500k in just two years'
The former boss of Console and two family members allegedly earned €500,000 in salaries and had account cars over a two-year period, a documentary claimed last night.
It alleged Paul Kelly, his wife Patricia and son Tim used 11 credit cards over the two years to shell out almost €500,000 on items including groceries, designer clothes and foreign trips.
RTE Investigates reporter Paul Murphy claimed the trio spent thousands on lavish trips to countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
However, Mr Kelly denied he or his family had engaged in any wrongdoing or misuse of Console funds.
A draft report by the HSE Internal Audit also claimed the trio withdrew large amount of money from the suicide charity’s accounts between 2012 and 2014.
The charity made just under €5million during that time.
The draft report alleges Paul Kelly received consultancy payments of €218,586, plus a fully-expensed 2009 Mercedes CLS costing €30,600 and four credit cards.
Meanwhile, Tim Kelly allegedly earned £600 tax free weekly by the charity.
Patricia Kelly also allegedly picked up a salary of €67,149, plus a fully-expensed 2010 Audi Q5 worth €57,000 and four credit cards.
The report has apparently found there were no contracts or board approvals for the payments for the CEO or his wife.
The report also claims to have found that inconsistent and vague explanations were given during the internal audit about Ms Kelly’s car.
From 2012 to 2014, the Kellys held 11 of Console’s 20 credit cards. Expenditure worth €464,777 was allegedly clocked up on those 11 cards during that time.
The largest expenditure was cash withdrawals of €87,027 including €66,296 withdrew by Paul Kelly. It is alleged no documentation was presented for these cash sums.
Mr Kelly stepped down as CEO of the suicide awareness and prevention charity last Thursday.
It has also been reported Mrs Kelly and his sister Joan McKenna have also resigned.
The charity’s board have appointed forensic accountant Tom Murray, and David Hall, boss of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, to conduct an investigation into the allegations.
Mr Hall urged people to still use the charity’s vital services.
He said: “This review is about financial irregularities, that’s all. We want to ensure that the services provided by Console and the staff who work there are safeguarded.