Dáil concern over Flannery’s use of firm to bill Rehab

Salary of charity chief Angela Kerins should be made public, Gilmore says

Concern has been expressed in the Dáil about the billing of Rehab by director and long-time senior Fine Gael adviser Frank Flannery for consulting services using a dissolved company. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Concern has been expressed in the Dáil about the billing of Rehab by director and long-time senior Fine Gael adviser Frank Flannery for consulting services using a dissolved company. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 14:05

Concern has been expressed in the Dáil about the billing of Rehab by director and long-time senior Fine Gael adviser Frank Flannery for consulting services using a dissolved company.

During the exchanges, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the salary of Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins should be made public.

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.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the lack of regulation of charities was doing untold damage to the charities themselves and to citizens depending on them. Ongoing revelations of excessive pay to charity CEOs, serious questions over fundraising and a lack of transparency and accountability had deeply angered citizens, particularly those suffering at the end of the brutal austerity cuts in recent years, he said.

“What has been uncovered at CRC, Irish Water, Poolbeg and elsewhere is, I believe, a toxic political culture of top-ups, bonuses, jobs for the boys and contracts for the elite,’’ Mr Ó Snodaigh added.

“Again, we read today of a former CEO of Rehab, a long-time adviser of Fine Gael, billing the company for consultancy services using a dissolved company. That all suggests something wrong in the state of Denmark. ’’

Mr Ó Snodaigh added that it emerged CRC had very close links with Fianna Fáil. He asked Mr Gilmore, who was taking Opposition leaders’ questions, if he thought it appropriate that the head of a charity earned more than the Taoiseach. “Do you agree that the CEO of Rehab should reveal her salary ?,’’ he added.

Mr Gilmore said the Government was implementing the Charities Act and establishing a regulatory authority, to be set up later in the year, so that there could be public confidence in charitable organisations. “I am in favour of transparency and I am in favour of organisations making known in their accounts, for example, the salaries they pay to their chief executives,’’ he added.