Hospice spent thousands on wine

Two HSE audits of Our Lady’s Hospice in Dublin found it spent thousands of euro on restaurants and wine, as well as on properties in Spain and Dublin.

The internal audit into fundraising and donations at Our Lady’s between 2006 and 2015 found the hospice spent €70,000 over five years relating to a property in Spain, left to it in a will.

The report says no valuation was obtained on the property, and it was sold in 2015 for €37,500. Comparable properties in the region were valued at €250,000.

Gardaí are investigating this sale.

The audit found that the former CEO of the hospice, Mo Flynn, was paid invoiced expenses totaling €35,000 outside of the payroll system — all incurred on one credit card including €4,000 on wine, €3,000 on trips to restaurants, and €680 on a trip to the theatre over a five-year period. In her submission to the audit, Ms Flynn said expenditure on wine was for gift boxes for its voluntary board of directors to reflect their “incredible efforts”, the money on restaurants was for work-related events, and the theatre expenditure was for a trip to the Christmas panto in 2011.

The audit found the hospice pent €94,000 without competitive tendering on refurbishing a house on Dublin’s South Circular Rd that was willed to it.

A second HSE audit examined the procurement of human resources training at the hospice. This report says there was an anonymous allegation that €142,000 was paid to a training provider who was related to the then CEO, without tendering.

The audit concluded that €119,000 was paid between 2010 and 2012 to a training provider whose managing director was a sister-in-law of the CEO of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospice.

The hospice was unable to provide evidence of tendering. There was no signed contract between the hospice and the HR training provider for this body of work.

In a statement, the hospice said the training provider was selected by senior management as it had experience working in the sector and that there were three service providers in for the tender.

Current CEO Audrey Houlihan told RTÉ radio that she accepted the audit findings. She apologised on behalf of the hospice.

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