Rehab paid Flannery for lobbying until 2013

PAC expected to set date for public hearing with Flannery and Rehab at meeting today

Frank Flannery pictured at Leinster House last month: Rehab said details of how much he was paid would be contained in the charity’s annual accounts, which have yet to be released. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Frank Flannery pictured at Leinster House last month: Rehab said details of how much he was paid would be contained in the charity’s annual accounts, which have yet to be released. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 01:00


Former Fine Gael strategist and Rehab director Frank Flannery was paid by the charity for lobbying and consultancy until at least last year.

While Rehab did not confirm the exact amounts paid to Mr Flannery, sources said his invoices followed a similar pattern to those for 2011 and 2012, which amounted to around €5,500 per month.

This continued up to last summer at least, sources said.

Mr Flannery invoiced the charity for €66,000 in 2012 and €11,000 in 2011 through his company, Laragh Consulting Ltd.

Invoices seen by this newspaper showed Mr Flannery lobbied the Departments of Justice, Education and Social Protection on behalf of Rehab in 2011 and 2012.

Rehab last night confirmed to The Irish Times it had an “ongoing” consultancy arrangement with Mr Flannery throughout 2013 to work on “ongoing projects”.


Accounts
A spokesman declined to say how much Mr Flannery had been paid last year, and said the details would be contained in the charity’s annual accounts, which have yet to be released.

It comes as Mr Flannery wrote to the public accounts committee asking it to write directly to him and invite him to come before TDs. The committee is expected to set a date for a public hearing with Mr Flannery and Rehab at its meeting today.

“I have said repeatedly that I will respond to an invitation from the PAC when I know what the agenda is,” Mr Flannery’s letter said.


Pension
In a separate response to the PAC Rehab declined to reveal further details of chief executive Angela Kerins’s salary. It also declined to disclose the pension arrangements of Mr Flannery, a former chief executive. Rehab told the PAC data protection laws prevented it from doing so without Mr Flannery’s consent.

Mr Flannery, who resigned as a Rehab director as well as from numerous positions within Fine Gael this week, is facing requests to appear before the PAC to answer questions about his pension, as well as business and lobbying links with Rehab.

While the lobbying disclosures so far have centred on his activities in 2011 and 2012, sources told The Irish Times he was paid for similar activities up until last year.

A Rehab spokesman said he “provided consultancy services to the Rehab Group and its subsidiary companies” on request.

The spokesman said the “vast majority” of this was international work, as well as lobbying and preparing position papers for the charity.

However, he could not say if Mr Flannery’s work continued into 2014 and declined to reveal how much he was paid last year.


Fees
“The consultancy fees paid to Mr Flannery for his work, which are not related to his membership of the group board or any subsidiary boards, are, therefore, disclosed in the Rehab Group’s consolidated accounts, and will therefore be published in due course, when the accounts for 2013 are published.”

Mr Flannery wrote to the PAC yesterday and said he had not “received any communication” from it but had heard committee members claim in the media they had invited him to give evidence.

He requested them to communicate with him directly, adding: “From media reports it would appear that a substantial impasse has arisen between myself and the PAC.


‘Misconception’
“I am anxious to address and disabuse this misconception and to this end would respectfully request that the PAC communicate directly and expeditiously with me so that we can co-operate in this endeavour.

“I have said repeatedly that I will respond to an invitation from the PAC when I know what the agenda is.”

He asked that they outline what further information they need, following on Rehab’s latest response to the PAC.

“I presume the further information being supplied by Rehab is germane to this and will indicate what, if any, information gaps remain.”