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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Photocall Ireland Shane Ross
# top-ups
Ross calls for immediate resignation of CRC Board over salary top-ups
Central Remedial Clinic used charity money to top up senior staff salaries.

Updated 17.53pm

INDEPENDENT TD Shane Ross has called for the immediate resignation of the board of directors of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC).

The call comes in light of concerns raised by Ross at yesterday’s Public Accounts Committee meeting that the Central Remedial Clinic had access to substantial sums of money through the registered charity known as the ‘Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic’ at a time when it was cutting services for children and adults with physical disabilities.

In a statement today, the Dublin-based clinic admitted that money was collected by a company linked to the organisation and used to pay top-up allowances to senior staff.

The statement from the CRC states:

…Funds from Friends and Supporters have also been used to pay any additional salary amounts over the Department of Health’s consolidated pay scales…

The statement adds that in 2009, the Central Remedial Clinic had an agreed position with the HSE to phase out the level of management salaries being paid over and above the Department of Health’s consolidated pay scales.

The CRC states:

Nine posts were identified in correspondence with the HSE. It was agreed at the time that as these positions became available through retirement or vacancy, new staff would be engaged on compliant salaries.

At present only five of these posts remain following retirement and vacancy and two of these posts are due to retire in the next two years.

In line with this agreement, the salary of the Central Remedial Clinic’s new Chief Executive, Brian Conlan, is fully compliant.

Money

Shane Ross said the admittance is that they used the funds to “line the pockets of its top earners”. He added:

The HSE should review its funding to the Central Remedial Clinic immediately if the organisation has money elsewhere, in this case the €14 million found to be in the Friends and Supporters account, which it is essentially failing to use to provide services to people with disabilities.

He said the statement from the CRC fails to give meaningful detail of where money held by the Friends of the CRC has been spent, stating it lists some development projects but fails to give a full account.

He questioned how many top executives have received money from the funds of Friends of the CRC.

Chief Executive

Ross added that the former Paul Kiely, Chief Executive of the CRC, got a top-up of €135,000 on top of a basic salary of €116,000. He said the HSE internal audit found that those funds did not come from the state but from the CRC’s own resources.

“If it is the case that the CRC can afford top-ups to directors when they are cutting front-line services, there are serious questions to be answered by the current board of directors and by the HSE,” he said.

Yesterday, the HSE chief Tony O’Brien said he was “not satisfied” with those rates of pay being paid out. Last year the CRC received grants of €16.6 million.

Related: HSE says some ‘top-ups’ for hospital executives date back to 1996>

More: No charitable donations used to pay Chief Executive’s allowance, says Crumlin Hospital Board>

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