All CRC board members resign with immediate effect

HSE appoints interim administrator to run organisation after top-up payments controversy

The chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic Brian Conlan already tendered his resignation on Monday.

The chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic Brian Conlan already tendered his resignation on Monday.

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 23:10

The HSE has appointed an interim administrator to run the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) and will put in place new governors to oversee the organisation following the resignation of its board of directors on foot of the top-up payments controversy.

The CRC said that all members of its board of governors had stepped down with immediate effect. It said that board members who were directors of Friends and Supporters of CRC, CRC Medical Devices or the Care Trust had also resigned these positions with immediate effect.

The HSE said it had sought the dissolution of the CRC board and its reconstitution with new members.

It said that in addition it had also sought the resignation of any members of associated subsidiaries, including the Friends and Supporters of the CRC.

“The HSE has appointed an administrator who will immediately take on the interim responsibility for overseeing the work of the CRC and for leading the introduction of new governance arrangements for CRC and its associated subsidiaries. In this regard, the HSE is also working with Boardmatch Ireland to put in place these new governance arrangements and to appoint new governors.”

“The HSE will also be moving quickly to recruit a new CEO through the Public Appointments Service.”

The HSE said it was committed “to ensuring that the confidence of the clients and dedicated staff of CRC, together with that of the general public who have so generously supported the Clinic for more than 60 years, can be fully restored”.

“ This will ensure that that CRC can continue to provide the high quality care, treatment and development for children and adults with physical disabilities for which it is so well known.”

The CRC said that following the resignation of the board, “the work of the dedicated staff and supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic to sustain, support, develop and protect the volume, quality and reliability of the services available to people with disabilities in Ireland deserves to continue as it has for more than six decades”.

The resignation of the board came after several weeks of increasing controversy over payments made to senior executives at the CRC on top of official HSE remuneration. In some cases payments were topped up using donations provided by the public.

Last month The Irish Times reported that the former chief executive of the CRC Paul Kiely was receiving top -up payments of more than €135,000 in addition to a HSE salary of €106,000.

Other CRC executives were in receipt of top up payments of over €30,000 in addition to their HSE salaries.

The Dail Public Accounts Committee was told this week that Mr Kiely received a lump sum of €200,000 from charitable donations when he retired earlier this year .

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Thursday that that the analysis and engagement of the Public Accounts Committee “left nobody in any doubt about what should be done”.

Earlier this week Mr Kiely’s successor as CRC chief executive Brian Conlan resigned. This newspaper revealed last week that the HSE had argued that the process that led to his appointment had been “highly irregular”.

Meanwhile St Vincent’s Healthcare Group has said that the €554,000 payment described as directors’ remuneration for other services in its accounts relates to the salary of its chief executive Nicholas Jermyn for running St Vincent’s public hospital and additional private earnings for working for the group (which also encompasses a private hospital) as well as the public salary of two clinicians on the board, Michael Keane and Diarmuid O’Donoghue.

The hospital group has not specificied the amount Mr Jermyn is receiving in additional remuneration from private sources on top of his HSE-funded salary of around €145,000.

Fundraising Ireland, an umbrella group for professional fundraisers and charities, said today that donations have plummeted by up to 40 per cent in the wake of the top-up payments controversy.

Chief executive Anne Hanniffy said two weeks of ongoing revelations about donations being used to top up salaries at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) was having a devastating impact on the sector, and charities were receiving phone calls on an hourly basis from people looking to cancel donations.

“There is no denying but that this is one of the most serious periods faced by the Irish non-profit sector,” she said.

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