Cantillon: CRC kept its friends close

EY, formerly Ernst & Young, act as auditors to both the CRC and to the Friends and Supporters operation that part-financed Paul Kiely’s retirement package

Former Central Remedial Clinic chief executive Paul Kiely  resigned as a director of Care Trust in June last year, only to be reappointed again the following month. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Former Central Remedial Clinic chief executive Paul Kiely resigned as a director of Care Trust in June last year, only to be reappointed again the following month. Photograph: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Sat, Jan 18, 2014, 01:00

The Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic Limited should, perhaps, have more properly been called the Friends and Supporters of those who ran the CRC, given this week’s extraordinary revelations concerning the former CRC chief executive, Paul Kiely.

Kiely, who retired from his position last year, was the secretary of the associated funding charity, the Friends and Supporters, up to July 2013 – that is, three months after the CRC board approved his generous retirement package.

The €740, 000 package might have been beyond the CRC’s ability to pay were it not for a transfer of €700,000 from the Friends and Supporters to the CRC at around the time of deal. Lawyers are examining the legality of the affair, while the families of those in receipt of services from the CRC are understandably livid.

EY, formerly Ernst & Young, act as auditors to both the CRC and to the Friends and Supporters operation. All the directors of the Friends and Supporters were on the board of the clinic.

The Friends had funds of €13.9 million at the end of 2011, the latest year for which accounts are available, and seems to have had a practice of holding money even though services at the CRC were under pressure. The balance brought forward at the end of 2010 was €11.9 million.

A €3 million loan from it to the CRC in 2012 is described in the latter’s accounts as interest-free and not repayable in the short term. It was used to beef up the clinic’s pension scheme during 2012.

Kiely’s salary as chief executive of the clinic was also being topped up with funds from the Friends and Supporters.

The bulk of the Friends’ income comes in turn from another charity, one that is 50 per cent owned by the Friends and Supporters, and 50 per cent owned by Rehab. This is the Care Trust Ltd, a Blackrock, Co Dublin, operation that many moons ago ran a football pools operation. It still raises a not-inconsiderable amount of money, of which the Friends and Rehab get an equal amount each year, with a smaller sum going to the Mater. The 2012 accounts show €3.88 million was paid out that year, and €4.5 million the previous year.

Three of the Care Trust directors – Kiely, James Nugent, and Hamilton Goulding – were also on the boards of the CRC and the Friends and Supporters. The other three directors on the Care Trust board were Rehab people. The accounts are audited by EY.

While Kiely and company announced their retirement in December from the CRC, the Friends and Supporters, and the Care Trust, the resignations from Care Trust have not yet been filed with the Companies Office. Kiely resigned as a director of Care Trust in June last year, only to be reappointed again the following month. This appears to mirror his retiring as CEO and secretary of the CRC in June 2013, and being appointed a director the following month.

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