Charity lotto company seeks CRC clarification

Conlan says he will appear before Public Accounts Committee

The Central Remedial Clinic’s recently resigned chief executive Brian Conlan  agreed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee which was considering compelling him to do so. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Central Remedial Clinic’s recently resigned chief executive Brian Conlan agreed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee which was considering compelling him to do so. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00

A company which runs charity lottery draws and contributes millions of euro to the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) says it will now seek assurances its donations will not be used to pay pensions, top-ups or wages of senior staff.

The latest developments come after a day of mounting political pressure on the CRC, with Minister for Justice Alan Shatter joining those calling on the board to resign.

The organisation’s recently resigned chief executive Brian Conlan also agreed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee which was considering compelling him to do so.

While stopping short of calling on the board to resign, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this week’s committee hearing on the controversy “left nobody in any doubt about what should be done here”.

The Care Trust, based in Blackrock, Dublin, is effectively a joint venture between the CRC and the Rehab Foundation, another of the country’s top charitable organisations, and last night said it would be concerned the money it raised from lotteries was used for top-ups and other payments.

Donations
It is owned equally by Rehab and the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic, which handles charitable donations for the CRC. Friends and Supporters receives the proceeds of lotteries run by the Care Trust, and it received €2.1 million in 2012.

Top-ups to senior executives at the CRC were partly paid from the Friends and Supporters company, and Paul Kiely, the organisation’s former chief executive, confirmed to the Public Accounts Committee this week that a €200,000 lump sump pension payment to him came from the company.

In a statement last night the Care Trust said it “would be concerned if the money raised was used in the Central Remedial Clinic as reported in the media. It is intended to seek assurances in the future concerning the uses to which the money raised by our efforts is put.” Mr Kiely resigned as a CRC director last month. However, the Care Trust spokesman also said last night that other members of the board were not aware how the CRC was spending the funding allocated to it.

“No, they weren’t,” the spokesman said. “They wouldn’t get into where the money is going and who’s getting what.”

Audited
A spokesman for the Rehab Group said the money “it has received from the Care Trust is accounted for each year in the accounts of the Rehab Group, which are independently audited and published each year”.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Mr Conlan will now appear before the Public Accounts Committee. He declined to appear earlier this week and TDs said they were prepared to compel him to do so. However, he contacted the clerk of the committee yesterday and said he did not appear because he had just returned from abroad and needed a number of weeks to prepare.

Committee chairman John McGuinness welcomed the move. He said it was another step in ensuring this issue of top-ups to pay and other packages were consigned to history.