Call for former CRC to return part of payoff 'a no-brainer'

Paul Kiely

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee says the former chief executive of the CRC Paul Kiely should return part of his retirement package.

Mr Kiely received in the region of €740,000 when he retired in 2012.

A report by HSE director John Cregan criticised the rushed pay deal for the former CEO and found that some salaries were artificially split at the organisation in order to avoid public sector pay cuts.

PAC Chairman deputy John McGuinness says the legalities of Mr Kiely's package need to be examined

"Certainly I would like to see him return some of that money," he said.

"But the fact is: is that legally possible? This is something we need to explore with Mr Cregan to determine just the extent of the legalities here and then will Mr Kiely maybe voluntary return some of that money?

"So this is just one of the issues that needs to be raised."

Journalist Tom Clonan has a son who attends the CRC. He has paid tribute to the care he receives at the clinic, but also believes Mr Kiely should return some of his payment.

"It's a no-brainer," he said. "I'm a director of a charity, Dogs for the Disabled, that helps certain people. I take no remuneration whatsoever, no pay.

"I would say to Paul Kiely: 'Give the money back. Put it back where it belongs'."

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said that the CRC's new board should use whatever means it can to get some of that money back.

"Clearly there's now a new board, a new chief executive in place there - and they have a determination to move forward" eh said.

"I think whatever can be done should be done; I mean if there are provisions there, the government have been very clear, people should not be paid over these provisions and we should seek to end those practices and recover funds where that's possible."

Independent Deputy Shane Ross, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, acknowledged the impact of adverse publicity on the charity sector, and paid tribute to the 'fantastic' work being done at the lower levels of the clinic.

"The spirit of the CRC must be revived," he said.

"Next week, when we get them in, I think we've got to get the old board with their questions still to be answered, and Ham Goulding, who's the [former] chairman, has volunteered to come in, hasn't been here before.

"But we've also got to get the new board in I think, to tell us the good news, the good story, which is things are getting better."

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