PAC to refer developer’s claims about Rehab to Garda

TDs take advice on letter from John Kelly which may ‘ potentially involve criminal wrongdoing’

The Public Accounts Committee is discussing Rehab at its meeting today. The meeting is under the auspices of  chairman Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness (above).

The Public Accounts Committee is discussing Rehab at its meeting today. The meeting is under the auspices of chairman Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness (above).

Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 15:46

The Public Accounts Committee has decided to refer allegations made by developer John Kelly against senior people involved with the Rehab charity to An Garda Síochána.

The committee discussed a letter it received from Mr Kelly, through his solicitors, at a private meeting this morning.

TDs took legal advice on the letter, which committee chairman John McGuinness said “could potentially involve criminal wrongdoing”.

“The statement contains a number of allegations against individuals who have or had associations with the Rehab Group.”

The committee was advised that the allegations were outside its remit, and agreed to a suggestion from Waterford TD John Deasy that they be forward to the Garda.

The contents of the letter were not disclosed and are not protected by the parliamentary privilege provided to the committee.

Rehab , as well as its former director and recently resigned Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery, are also to be invited before to appear before the committee on April 10th.

Mr McGuinness said answers provided by Rehab to 12 questions posed by the committee were unsatisfactory, and claimed further explanation is needed.

Labour TD Gerald Nash described the information provided as “scant”, while Independent TD Shane Ross said it was “unsatisfactory” and a “smokescreen”.

There was no information on payments for Mr Flannery’s lobbying activities, Mr McGuinness said.

Rehab’s director of finance is also to be invited to give evidence.

Mr McGuinness said the committee is united it its determination to get information from Rehab, and said the queries asked of Mr Flannery are “nothing personal”.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan suggested in recent days that the pursuit of Mr Flannery is politically motivated, but Mr McGuinness insisted the committee is united in its approach.

He said committee members were “taken aback” by how little information had been provided to them by Rehab, and said the charity is doing “untold damage to themselves and to the charity sector”in prolonging the controversy by not providing information.