Pieta House to take over Console services

Pieta House to take over Console services

Update 5.16pm: Pieta House is to take over Console service including 24 hour helpline.

Update 4.15pm The High Court has appointed a provisional liquidator to suicide bereavement charity Console.

It is on the condition that the HSE can secure the handover of Console's services to another provider.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan was reluctant to appoint a liquidator until the handover of services could be assured.

Console has 314 people currently availing of counselling.

The Judge also expressed concern for the 12 full time and 60 part time staff.

In an affidavit Interim CEO of Console David Hall said the charity is 'hopelessly insolvent.'

He said it is almost €300,000 in debt - with €74,000 owed in wages and €77,500 due to the Revenue.

Mr Justice Gilligan said he was satisfied that the charity was hopelessly insolvent.

The HSE is due before the court again at 5pm to prove to the judge that an alternate service provider has been secured.

In court documents Mr Hall said that on July 5 he contacted Pieta House 'in an effort to protect services'.

One of the main issues in the transfer is the security of private documents - and service users will be contacted to find out if they want their files transferred to any new service.

Earlier The High Court is hearing an application to appoint a provisional liquidator to charity Console.

The HSE has been given until 5pm to outline to the court another service provider who would take over Console's services.

The judge said he needed to know the position of all parties involved in this case before approving the appointment of a liquidator.

He said given the vast range of suicide bereavement services Console provides he wants assurances that they will be preserved.

He also wanted clarification on what would happen to the 12 staff and 60 contracted counsellors attached to Console.

Representation for the HSE said they have been working to provide 'suitable and appropriate' transitional arrangements to move Console's services to another provider.

They said they believe that will be finalised by this afternoon.

It was argued that the suite of powers being sought for the liquidator was designed specifically to aid in the retention of services.

The HSE has been given until 5pm to confirm that another service provider has been agreed on.

Until then the court will continue to hear the application to appoint a provisional liquidator.

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