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Ex-CRC chief "extremely ill", unable to answer questions about €742k pay-off

The Public Accounts Committee is due to hold further hearings on the scandal hit disability clinic next week.

Former CRC execs Paul Kiely and Jim Nugent attending a previous PAC hearing
Former CRC execs Paul Kiely and Jim Nugent attending a previous PAC hearing
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE FORMER CHIEF executive of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC), Paul Kiely, is “extremely ill” and will be unable to attend a Public Accounts Committee hearing to answer questions over his €742,025 retirement package and other issues at the scandal-hit disability clinic.

The PAC heard this morning that Kiely cannot attend hearings due to take place next Thursday.

Members also raised concerns that the former chairman and former board members at the north Dublin clinic have not yet responded to requests to attend hearings next week.

A report into the clinic published last week said that the CRC set up its charitable arm for the sole purpose of making sure it got as much money as possible from the HSE. This fund was used to pay salary top-ups for senior executives at the CRC.

There has been pressure on Kiely to repay part of his retirement package in light of the findings of a report by administrator John Cregan.

Independent TD Shane Ross said this morning it was “ominous” that former board members at Rehab had not yet indicated whether they would attend.

The committee has asked former chairman Jim Nugent as well as former executives David Martin and Brian Conlan to attend. The three last appeared before PAC in December and January last year where there were numerous revelations about salaries and pay-offs at the clinic.

PAC has also written to former chairman Hamilton Goulding asking him to attend and heard today that that in his reply he had confirmed it was his intention to give “a full and frank account” of his involvement.

In a statement following the Cregan report last week, Goulding said he believed it “exonerates CRC of wrongdoing allegations”.

Kiely last appeared before the committee in December when he said he received a lump-sum pay-off of €200,000 upon retirement in 2012 and would be getting an annual pension of €98,000.

However the HSE revealed on 16 January that in fact Kiely’s package consisted of a €200,000 tax-free lump-sum and a €273,336 taxable payment with an additional €268,689 – meaning a total of €742,025 was paid out.

He had indicated that he would attend further hearings but committee clerk Ted McEnery informed TDs today that he had been told by Kiely’s solicitor that he is “extremely ill and is not in a position to attend”.

“I think we should accept that,” committee chairman John McGuinness said.

The PAC is due to discuss the CRC controversy at its meeting next Thursday morning with HSE officials and Cregan due to attend.

Read: Former CRC chief rejects that any fundraised money was kept secret

Read: The report into the CRC says it only set up its side charity to get more money from the HSE

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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