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Console charity co-founder to face 'lengthy and complex' trial

Patricia Kelly is accused of two counts of fraudulent trading

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A CO-FOUNDER OF suicide prevention charity Console has been served with a book of evidence and faces a “lengthy and complex trial” accused of fraudulent trading and hiding proceeds of crime.

The charity’s former chief executive Paul Kelly took his own life on 9 February last, the night before he was to be charged with financial irregularities at his charity.

However, in March his wife, Patricia Kelly, 59, a former director at the charity, was charged with three offences.

She is accused of two counts of fraudulent trading between December 2006 and July 2016. These offences were contrary to 1963 and 2014 Companies Acts.

The third charge was for money laundering, in which it was alleged that from September 2010 until July 2016 she concealed or disguised the true nature, location, movement or ownership of properties of Console which were proceeds of criminal conduct.

It follows an investigation by the  (GNECB) in conjunction with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

The probe commenced after a 2016 RTÉ Investigates documentary programme about the charity which has since gone into liquidation.

The Director of Public Prosecutions directed trial on indictment.

Kelly appeared at Dublin District Court again today when she was served with a book of evidence by GNECB Detective Glenn MacKessy.

Making the return for trial order, Judge Bryan Smyth told Patricia Kelly the case was being sent forward to the next term of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. She was told she will have to appear there on 9 October.

She was also advised she must notify the prosecution within 14 days if she intended to use an alibi in her defence.

She spoke once to confirm she had signed her bail bond.

Solicitor Rory Eakin said his client is now getting a widow’s allowance of €202 a week. Her assets have been frozen by the High Court since 2016.

The solicitor said the case was a “complex matter involving allegations of financial crime, and it will be a lengthy and complex trial”.

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Judge Smyth granted legal aid to include junior and senior counsel representation.

At her first hearing on 6 March, GNECB Detective MacKessy had told the district court Kelly, “made no reply” when charged.

Bail terms state she has to sign on once a week at Naas Garda station, every Monday, and to be contactable by mobile phone at all times. Her passport expired in 2016 and she was ordered not to apply for a new one or other travel documents, and she must remain in the jurisdiction for the duration of the proceedings.

She must continue to reside at her address at Alexandra Manor, Clane, Co. Kildare, and have no contact with witnesses or any of the charity’s employees or directors, except for her son Tim Kelly.

Her solicitor had said earlier that she will contest the charges. He had said this case followed a lengthy investigation and it was likely there would be a prolonged period before her trial proceeds.

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