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Former CRC board to be called back before PAC "as soon as possible"

A member of the Public Accounts Committee says they were “misled and possibly lied to” on the CRC payments issue.

Former CRC CEO Paul Kiely
Former CRC CEO Paul Kiely
Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated at 9.10am

THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Committee is writing to the former board members of the CRC this week, with a view to calling them back before the panel to answer further questions on the issue of the €742,000 pension and pay-off package handed to former CEO Paul Kiely.

It emerged in a committee hearing last week that €700,000 of the amount paid to Kiely was taken from the CRC’s charitable fund, the ‘Friends and Supporters’ group. The package included a €200,000 tax-free lump-sum and a €273,336 taxable payment, amounting to €473,336.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, PAC member Simon Harris said the appearance was necessary as the panel had previously been “misled and possibly lied to” as it examined the payments controversy at the Clontarf clinic.

“We’ve heard from members of the former board of the CRC who seem to have left their memories at the door,” the Fine Gael TD said.

Harris was also asked about reports that documents relating to Kiely’s deal had gone missing, and admitted that the HSE had told the committee “they were having difficulty locating some minutes”.

“We’ve seen the minutes of the famous meeting on the 25 March [at which the payments package was agreed]. We need to see the minutes of the renumeration committee, we need to hear the details of the pension presentation Mr Kiely made to the board.”

Harris said that he hoped the former chair of the CRC Hamilton Goulding would provide all documentation and board minutes he had to the Public Accounts Committee, after Goulding said yesterday in a radio interview that he would to so.

“I would really urge Mr Goulding to do so today,” Harris said.

Outstanding questions

In the wake of Goulding’s interview on RTÉ’s This Week yesterday, Harris said last night that the former CRC chair still had “a number of outstanding questions to answer”.

Among the questions set out by Harris were:

  • Why was Kiely never asked to take a pay-cut by the Board of the CRC?
  • How did Goulding not know for a significant period of time [what] Mr Kiely’s salary [was]?
  • How did Goulding “manage to preside over an organisation which managed to have €12 million in reserve and yet refused to provide some of the service necessary to its clients”?
  • Why do “we have no information on what Goulding, and his colleagues on the board did, in relation to HSE letters they received warning them that they were not in in compliance”?
  • In relation to the transfer of money from a charity account, the Friends and Supporters of the CRC, to Kiely, does Goulding view this as an acceptable transfer and did he seek advice in relation to the legality of the issue?

Meanwhile, there have been conflicting reports as to whether Kiely intends to pay back part of his six-figure pay and pension package.

Quoting friends of the former CRC chief executive, The Irish Daily Mail reports this morning that he would be willing to hand back some of the money. The Sunday Independent, also referencing sources close to Kiely, reported yesterday that he had no intention of doing so.

Additional reporting, Aoife Barry.

First posted at 8.50am.

Read: Cowen: Kiely had no ‘hand, act or part’ in running of FF

Read: Noonan: ‘On face of it’, CRC money should be paid back

Read: CRC: What we found out at the Public Accounts Committee hearings

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