Officials at 13 voluntary agencies get €912k a year in top-up payments

While the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) is at the centre of the top-ups controversy, it is just one of 13 voluntary hospitals and agencies paying bosses extra salaries from “privately funded” sources.

A HSE audit of the sector shows that, combined, these groups give a small number of senior officials €912,472 a year in addition to their taxpayer-funded salaries.

The money comes from various sources including charitable donations (CRC), sweet shops (Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin), and other funding streams.

Except when extremely rare business cases can be made, the money should go straight to improving frontline services.

However, it is instead spent on second salaries, extra allowances, company cars, expenses, and pension pots:

* Total amount of “privately funded” top-ups: €912,472, given to 47 “senior managers”.

* Externally funded salaries: €409,531 to 14 senior managers at Cope Foundation (1), CRC (5), St Michael’s House (5), and St Vincent’s (3).

* Externally funded allowances: €321,376 to 19 senior managers at the CRC (1), Coombe (1), Mater (1), Holles St (4), National Rehabilitation Hospital (1), Crumlin (1), Harold’s Cross Hospice (3), the Rotunda (5), the South Infirmary (1), Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary (1).

* Externally funded pensions: €87,965 to 12 senior managers at the CRC (5), Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary (2), and St Michael’s House (5).

* Externally funded car: unspecified amount to one senior manager at St Michael’s House.

* Externally funded car expenses: €3,500 to one senior manager at the Mater.

Party membership

Given a certain ex-Labour TD’s sudden sway to Fianna Fáil, you could be forgiven for thinking it is all change in political circles.

But not all claims of leopards changing their spots are as accurate as they first seem.

Defending the Central Remedial Clinic in an RTÉ radio interview on Monday, former Charlie Haughey and Bertie Ahern accountant and ex-CRC chair Des Peelo insisted there was no Fianna Fáil “cabal” in the disability group.

To prove his point about the body — which has at least five current and former senior officials who were close confidantes of the ex-taoisigh — the high- profile figure made the unexpected admission he is in fact a lifelong member of Fine Gael.

He told Monday’s Today with Sean O Rourke show:

“[Independent TD] Shane Ross has included me in some Fianna Fáil cabal because of my obvious friendships with Bertie Ahern and Charlie Haughey. Just speaking personally to get my dig in back at him, I have been a lifelong member of Fine Gael.”

However, a Fine Gael spokesperson said the party has no record of the apparent switch.


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