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'Please don't pass the bucket': CRC parent in tearful plea

“You feel disgusted and saddened, but not just for yourself and your child, you feel for the staff of the CRC, they’re so amazing, they work so hard.”

The PAC will seek to bring Kiely (left) and former CRC chairman Jim Nugent (right) back before it in the coming weeks.
The PAC will seek to bring Kiely (left) and former CRC chairman Jim Nugent (right) back before it in the coming weeks.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A MOTHER, WHOSE son uses the facilities of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) four times a week, has pleaded for people not to avoid giving money to the clinic in the wake of revelations about a €742,000 pension and pay-off for former CRC chief Paul Kiely.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Maria Nolan described how her 17-month-old son Oisin uses the clinic for various facilities including the eating, drinking and swallowing clinic, adding that it is “a lifeline”.

“You feel disgusted and saddened, but not just for yourself and your child, you feel for the staff of the CRC, they’re so amazing, they work so hard,” she said.

In a tearful plea she told listeners: “Please don’t pass the bucket on the street, do give, just think of my son… he’ll always need the CRC… you’ll never know when you might need it yourself.”

Also speaking on the programme, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness said that parents and children are “not the ones who should suffer”.

He said that the PAC would be bringing back in Kiely and other former board members at the CRC and said “there is no doubt in our minds that he should repay it”.

Taoiseach reaction

Speaking to the media in Dublin last night, the Taoiseach Kenny gave his first reaction to the details which emerged yesterday, describing them as “appalling”.

“The revelations are appalling and indicate of a time in Irish politics I hope is long gone,” Kenny said, adding that the reaction of TDs on the committees “speaks for itself” in that it was known to CRC board members when they appeared before the PAC in December.

“Some analysis by the HSE has determined what was told to the Public Accounts Committee and to the Irish people was not, in fact, the truth,” Kenny said, according to RTÉ News.

The Health Service Executive confirmed to the PAC yesterday that it may seek to involve gardaí in the matter as its internal audit of the goings-on at the CRC continues and is likely to be concluded in the coming weeks.

The CRC’s interim administrator, John Cregan, discovered the details of the Kiely pay-off – which was vastly more than was disclosed to the committee before Christmas – and informed the HSE director general Tony O’Brien of the details this month.

In a letter to the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee chair John McGuinness earlier this week, O’Brien warned of “serious matters” that had arisen regarding Kiely’s pension.

O’Brien wrote that what Cregan had uncovered about Kiely’s pay-off “seem to be considerably at variance” with what the committee heard in December.

It transpired that Kiely did not account for some €542,000 that was disclosed at PAC hearings yesterday.

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Hugh O'Connell

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