Director used own dissolved company to bill Rehab

Shatter rejects demands to withdraw his concerns about low lottery profit margins

The Rehab Group headquarters in Sandymount, Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

The Rehab Group headquarters in Sandymount, Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins


Rehab director and long-time senior Fine Gael adviser Frank Flannery billed the charity for consulting services in 2011 and 2012 using a company that was dissolved in January 2009.

Mr Flannery invoiced the charity for €66,000 in 2012 and €11,000 in 2011 using Laragh Consulting Ltd, with an address in Finglas, Dublin.

The company was set up in February 2007, but dissolved two years later having never filed accounts.

Yesterday Mr Flannery said the company was dissolved because its accounts were not filed to the Companies Office, but that the VAT and tax situation was entirely in order.

“It is an embarrassing oversight. The company was used for a bit of private business. I’m now trying to get the company restored [to the companies register]”.

The development came as Minister for Justice Alan Shatter spurned demands from Rehab to withdraw public concerns he expressed in the Dáil about low lottery profit margins and “costly” legal action it is taking against the State.

“There is nothing further to add to the Minister’s statement of last night,” said a Department of Justice spokeswoman. “At the heart of this issue is the need to ensure that funds raised by charities or received from the State are dealt with efficiently and transparently, and that they are used for the benefit of the services provided by that charity . . .”

Although Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was “surprised to hear the numbers” cited about the profits, Rehab insisted it provides detailed information to the Government every year.

“It is quite disingenuous for any person in Government to express surprise or shock at the performance of any charity lottery,” Rehab said.

Mr Flannery said the fees he charged Rehab arose from work he did in relation to the European Platform for Rehabilitation and the European quality in rehabilitation mark, organisations and movements that he was involved in establishing during his 25 years as chief executive of the group.

He said the income of Laragh Consulting was fully accounted for and the Revenue Commissioners had no difficulty with the situation.

The directors of the Rehab group are not paid for their work, despite the responsibilities involved, he said. However, he was paid for the work he did for the group with a number of international projects.

Mr Flannery said he was asked by the board to become a director of the group in 2011, five years after he had stood down as chief executive. He never stood down as a director of Rehab Lotteries Ltd, a position he has held since 1992. He said former Rehab chairman, the late Colm Allen SC, asked him to remain in that position.

He said the Rehab lottery had significant overheads but had lost turnover over recent years because of Government policy. This was what was behind the minuscule profits it was making.

“Having destroyed our business, the Minister is now making accusations against us,” he said. “It is like breaking a man’s legs and then attacking him for not walking.”

Asked about the refusal of Rehab chief Angela Kerins to reveal her remuneration package, Mr Flannery said he expected that the figure would be disclosed. Rehab was “not impervious” to the public’s concerns.