HSE gave Console over €321,000 in funding this year Govt admits

HSE gave Console over €321,000 in funding this year Govt admits
Helen McEntee

The HSE gave crisis-hit charity Console more than €321,000 in funding this year, despite its own audit team and Government Ministers being aware of serious financial irregularities at the charity since summer 2015, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner Political Reporter.

Junior minister with responsibility for mental health Helen McEntee admitted the situation this afternoon, contradicting Department of Health claims just last week no taxpayers money has been handed over to the group this year.

In a response to Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy last week, the Department said the HSE has yet to give Console any funding in 2016.

The issue had been raised due to the significant concerns raised over the charity's financial transparency due to the growing scandal surrounding the group's now ex-chief executive Paul Kelly emerged.

However, in a follow-up e-mail to Ms Murphy this afternoon, Ms McEntee said there was a mistake in the initial response and that the HSE has in fact provided the crisis-hit charity with €321,498 in taxpayer's money since January 1.

“It is important that the correct information is in the public domain on this matter.

“I had notified various journalists and interested parties of the Minister’s response to me in the Dáil saying that there had been no HSE funding this year so I wish to pass on the clarification from the Minister that in fact a substantial amount of funding has been transferred from the HSE to Console this year,” Ms Murphy said.

The large level of funding is required in order to ensure existing front-line services which are believed to be unconnected to the back-room management scandal facing the charity continue to be provided.

However, the fact the money was handed over at a time when Console is at the centre of a major financial transparency crisis is likely to cause further concern among the public over the controversy.

More on this topic

Judge wants to hear from liquidator before granting expenses for former Console chief Paul KellyJudge wants to hear from liquidator before granting expenses for former Console chief Paul Kelly

New strategy promises greater monitoring of charitiesNew strategy promises greater monitoring of charities

Pieta House to take over Console servicesPieta House to take over Console services

Board of Console meeting to decide charity's futureBoard of Console meeting to decide charity's future


More in this Section

Water safety warning as pair of swimmers rescued from River LeeWater safety warning as pair of swimmers rescued from River Lee

€63,000 spent on three-day royal visit in March€63,000 spent on three-day royal visit in March

Air Corps helicopter assists fire crews fighting blaze in Burren National ParkAir Corps helicopter assists fire crews fighting blaze in Burren National Park

Varadkar, Martin and Ryan to try and overcome major obstacles encountered in talksVaradkar, Martin and Ryan to try and overcome major obstacles encountered in talks


Lifestyle

Every parent eventually reaches that weird milestone where their children discover that their mother or father had a life before kids. For Cork musician John “Haggis” Hegarty it came this April, when his 17-year-old son walked in clutching a copy of the Irish Examiner.Emperor of Ice Cream: Cork band reunite for another scoop

Louis Theroux, best known for his TV documentaries, is, like the rest of us, being forced to improvise and so has started a podcast, Grounded with Louis Theroux.Podcast Corner: Louis Theroux and Ross Kemp zoom into action

Gavin James is preparing for what is probably the strangest challenge of his live-gigging career to date: performing to a sea of cars at his upcoming Live at the Drive In gigs.Gavin James: All revved up for drive-in gigs

The Government last week reminded anyone receiving the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP), put in place as an emergency response to layoffs made in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, that they could be liable for a tax bill at the end of the year.Making Cents: Working out if you will face a tax bill because of Covid-19 supports

More From The Irish Examiner