Financial irregularity claims at suicide body

Thu, Sep 20, 2012, 01:00

THE IRISH Association of Suicidology is to put in place an independent investigation into allegations of financial irregularities in the organisation.

Board members will meet today to agree on the setting up of an independent examination following “recent allegations”, the association said in a statement last night.

“The board’s primary concern at present is for the welfare of its staff. A full statement will be issued tomorrow following the meeting,” the statement continued.

It is understood the organisation received media inquiries in recent days in relation to the allegations, which have not been published up to now.

The president and co-founder of the association is Fine Gael TD Dan Neville and the patron is President Michael D Higgins.

Mr Neville, along with Dr John Connolly and the late Dr Michael Kelleher, founded the organisation in 1996 to inform, educate and promote positive suicide prevention policies throughout the island.

The annual conference of the IAS takes place next month on the theme Learning to Listen: A Suicide Prevention Conference.

The latest accounts filed by Irish Association of Suicidology Ltd at the Companies’ Office show cash at hand or in the bank of over €203,000 at the end of 2010.

Income for the nine months ending on December 31st, 2010, was €116,000 and expenditure €96,000.

Funding from the HSE amounted to €96,000.

Aside from Mr Neville and Dr Connolly, the board of directors includes Dr Justin Brophy (chairman), Eileen Williamson, Dr Margaret Kelleher, Paul Kelly, Barry McGale and Neasa Cummins, Dr Siobhan O’Neill and Paddy Hale.

The association has been to the fore in establishing an accreditation model for voluntary organisations working with suicide.

The model sets minimum standards for good governance, training and education and client service.

Mr Neville, the TD for Limerick since 1997, could not be reached for comment last night.