CRC fails to clarify details of board lump sums

The Central Remedial Clinic has failed to clarify if the senior officials who resigned from the scandal-hit group last night received lavish lump sum retirement packages secretly funded by charitable donations.

It came after the resignations of the entire board of the CRC, the Friends and Supporters of the CRC, CRC Medical Devices, and CRC officials on the board of fundraiser lottery organiser group The Care Trust.

They include Jim Nugent, David Martin, Vincent Brady, Ham Goulding, Frances Sheppard, Mary Day, Jameson Hassia, Aibhle Rice-Jones, Pat Ryan, and Martin Walsh.

On Wednesday, the Oireachtas public accounts committee heard ex-CRC chief executive and recently retired director, Paul Kiely, received a €200,000 tax- free lump sum payment when he left on Nov 25.

The amount — which was paid entirely from charitable donations — is in addition to a €98,000-a- year pension.

The figures are based on his salary on retirement, which was about €241,000 when his taxpayer-funded salary of €106,000, the charitable top-up of some €116,000, and a charitable allowance of €19,000 are taken into account.

However, despite the payments being set out by Mr Kiely himself after a five-hour grilling by the committee on Wednesday, the CRC cannot clarify who else has also received the parachute packages.

The Irish Examiner contacted WHPR — CRC’s external PR firm — asking who else was in receipt of the excessive, charity-funded payments. A spokesman said the PR firm cannot clarify the issue as it does not know if any officials remaining at the disability group would have the information.

He said no officials received any payment for being on the CRC’s board of governors.

However, it remained unclear last night whether Jim Nugent — who until last night was acting as chief executive — received a similar departure packet to Mr Kiely, who held the same position.

It is also unclear whether any board members resigning from the Friends and Supporters of the CRC, CRC Medical Devices, and Care Trust groups will receive parachute payments.

A further failure to answer questions is apparent over whether other individuals to have retired from the CRC’s board of directors long before the scandal broke received payments in the same way as Mr Kiely.

They include ex-chief executive Brian Conlan (2013), ex-director Countess de Ravenel (Mar 2010), ex-director Des Peelo (Jun 2010), and a handful of other departees over the past decade.

The PAC was told on Wednesday that Mr Conlan did not receive any payment when he stepped down as CEO earlier this week.

Meanwhile, HSE director general Tony O’Brien, will continue a flurry of meetings with senior bosses in all section 38 groups over the coming days to ensure they are not misusing taxpayer or charity funds, and are not providing top-ups to any officials.

At the meeting, he will also issue a newly drawn-up annual compliance statement which all groups must sign and confirm they are implementing in order to receive HSE funding.

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