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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Fine Gael adviser told to answer questions on payments from Rehab

Minister of State Paschal Donohoe says both he and the Taoiseach agree that Frank Flannery should face the Public Accounts Committee.

Frank Flannery arrives at RTE studios after the 2011 General Election.
Frank Flannery arrives at RTE studios after the 2011 General Election.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated 19.30pm

FINE GAEL STRATEGIST Frank Flannery should appear before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions about money he was paid as a director of the Rehab charity according to Minister of State Paschal Donohoe.

Donohoe said this morning that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has previously stated this was his own personal view also.

The renewed calls for clarity from Flannery come after a story in today’s Irish Times which said that Flannery’s firm invoiced Rehab for more than €75,000 over two years.

“This is why I believe that there should be absolute transparency on all levels of contact between anybody in a state body or not and the state itself,” said the Donohoe on RTÉ’s Saturday with Claire Byrne.

Mr Flannery or anybody in Rehab should go before the Public Accounts Committee, they should answer questions like this and I think it’s particularly important to find out if public money is involved in any of this.

Flannery is a former CEO of Rehab and was reportedly seen in Leinster House as the charity’s current CEO Angela Kerins and other Rehab executives were giving evidence at the PAC last week.

Kerins spent much of her time at the PAC defending her €240,000 a year salary and many committee members also criticised Flannery in the light of the fact that he served on Rehab’s remuneration committee.

Donohoe also said during the course of the programme that “we’re in an era in which transparency is a minimum” adding that “these questions have been raised here today and I believe Mr Flannery should respond back to them”.

PAC member Seán Fleming of Fianna Fáil was dismissive of the notion that Flannery now needed to respond to the questions being put to him, noting that he was asked to appear before the PAC and did not do so:

First of all he was invited to come, I think he’s one of the only people who has been invited to come to the Public Accounts Committee and hasn’t actually done so, he’s in a very unique position and he should correct that immediately.

“He’s a very close ally of the Taoiseach and the Taoiseach is having to suggest to him that he should go, the Taoiseach shouldn’t even have been put in that situation. Frank should have gone in the first place,” he added.

The Minister of State was also asked if Flannery was paid for his advisory role with Fine Gael to which Donohoe responded that, “to the best of my knowledge any work he has done for Fine Gael was done on a voluntary basis”.

First published 15.15pm

Read: Taoiseach on Rehab salaries: ‘The public like to know these things’ >

Read: PAC to seek legal advice before revealing Rehab executives’ salaries >

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Rónán Duffy

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