Taoiseach describes CRC revelations as appalling

PAC hears charity paid former head a secret €742,000 retirement pay-off

The committee heard detail of the package from the Health Service Executive (HSE) today and also questioned Brian Conlan, who took over as chief executive of the CRC after Mr Kiely’s departure.

Thu, Jan 16, 2014, 21:41

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described revelations that the former head of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) received a secret €742,000 retirement pay-off as appalling.

Speaking at an event in Dublin tonight, Mr Kenny said the financial practices of the charity were “indicative of a time in Irish politics” that he hoped was long gone.

Health chiefs will attempt to claw back some of the €742,000 retirement pay-off secured by former CRC head Paul Kiely.

Mr Kiely was giventhe package after he left his post as chief executive of the clinic in June last year with a clause stipulating that the deal was to be kept secret.

The Public Accounts Committee has been told today that the deal included €200,000 tax free, €273,336 which was taxable and €268,689 paid into Mr Kiely’s pension fund.

The third payment was intended to make sure the former clinic chief had a pension pot as though he had remained in the senior post up until November 2016.

The committee heard detail of the package from the Health Service Executive (HSE) today and also questioned Brian Conlan, who took over as chief executive of the CRC after Mr Kiely’s departure.

He was only in the job for four months when he resigned as the scandal broke over the top-ups for executives at the clinic.

Mr Conlan said he was on honeymoon in the US for three weeks when the controversy emerged late last year and also claimed he was under intense stress, was forced to move out of his house for several days to avoid the media and then stepped down from the role as the committee sought to question him over the remuneration issue.

Mr Conlan, who was chief executive of the Mater Hospital for eight years before he joined the CRC, claimed he was not party to discussions on Mr Kiely’s pension top-up or signing off on a confidentiality clause to keep it secret.

He was a member of the board at the time and sat on the CRC audit committee but claimed he did not attend that specific meeting and did not read the minutes of the meeting.

“I was not at the board meeting,” he said.

“What I’m saying to you is that I was not aware that these payments were being made to Mr Kiely. I was not aware of the payment. This is completely new to me. And I am as surprised as anybody at what has transpired here today.”

Mr Conlan said there was no information on the deal in any files he saw in the four months he was chief executive.

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