Console chief Paul Kelly posed as fake doctor

The Department of Health has come under pressure after it emerged the former CEO of Console was brought in for questioning five years ago regarding his stint posing as a fake doctor in the early 1980s.

RTE’s This Week outlined how officials from the Department met Mr Kelly in 2011 to discuss the 1983 episode, when Mr Kelly was given the Probation Act after a court heard he had posed as a doctor in the casualty ward in a Baggot St hospital.

The Department of Health said it asked Mr Kelly in for questioning after it had been contacted by parliamentary assistant Tommy Morris, who had been working for TD Derek Keating.

Mr Morris said he had raised concerns about Mr Kelly with James Reilly when he was Minister for Health. Mr Reilly, now a senator, has already released a statement in which he said he had a recollection of concerns being raised but asked they be put in writing so they could be followed up.

Mr Morris was unaware the Department of Health had questioned Mr Kelly in relation to the 1983 incident. He said it was an “enormous missed opportunity” to launch a wider probe into how Console was being run.

Yesterday, the Department said there had been no mention of any financial irregularities in Console in 2011 and a spokesman said: “The minister would not have been briefed formally because no new information was given to the department which was not already a matter of public record by way of the court case.”

In further revelations, it has emerged that Console is investigating allegations that Mr Kelly’s wife might have used charitable funds to buy a horse later used by her daughter in showjumping competitions.

In a further bizarre twist, it has emerged that the same horse was stolen from an equestrian centre in Co Longford last Thursday by two men posing as gardaí. Gardaí confirmed they are investigating the theft of a horse, horse box, and the unauthorised taking of a car from Cloghan.

The Sunday Times had reported that the interim CEO of Console, David Hall, was seeking to establish if the money used to buy the horse had originated from Console.

The horse was bought by Patricia Kelly, a former director at Console, and could be worth up to €40,000.

Matters relating to Console are due back before the High Court today.

Terry Prone: 10

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