Sister of Paul Kelly officially removed from legal actions against former charity Console

The High Court has accepted that Joan McKenna had no involvement in the running of the now wound-up suicide charity.

90423566_90423566 Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

THE LIQUIDATOR OF Console has discontinued legal proceedings against an “innocent bystander” who it is accepted had no involvement with the running of the suicide bereavement charity.

The proceedings had been brought against Console’s founder Paul Kelly, his wife Patricia and his sister Joan McKenna following an investigation into the running of the charity.

Last June the High Court granted the then interim Console CEO David Hall various orders including one freezing several bank accounts linked to the organisation.

Those proceedings were subsequently taken over by Console’s liquidator Tom Murray after the charity was wound up.

At the High Court today Martin Hayden SC for the liquidator said that his client was discontinuing proceedings against Joan McKenna. The High Court had previously discontinued freezing orders made against her.

In a statement read to the court by Hayden, counsel said the liquidator “acknowledges that Ms McKenna was not involved in the running of Console” and “thanks her for her engagement in the liquidation process”.

It has become clear, thanks to the efforts of Ms McKenna, that she had no hand act or part in the control, running or conduct of Console.

It was also accepted she “never derived any personal financial gain from Console”.

The court had previously heard that a Joan Burke McKenna appeared as a director of Console and appeared to have signed company accounts on behalf of the charity.

It was accepted by the liquidator that McKenna was never a director of Console nor were the said signatures hers.

The liquidator would now work with McKenna to have her name removed from the relevant CRO records, counsel said.

McKenna asked that it be noted that she was a supporter of the work done by Console. She waived her entitlement to legal costs and asked that those monies be used as part of the liquidation process.

She was aware that counsellors with Console are owed monies for their work. She like many of those vulnerable people affected was “an innocent bystander”, counsel said.

McKenna, who thanked her legal team of Michael Hayes solicitor and James Bridgeman Bl, said there was a need for suicide bereavement counselling and asked that support be given to Pieta House.

Following the brief application Justice Gilligan agreed to strike out the proceedings against McKenna.

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Aodhan O Faolain