Five new trustees appointed to board of Console

Move by charities regulator comes as High Court asked to ensure running of organisation

The head office of Console Suicide Prevention Charity in Celbridge Co Kildare. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

The head office of Console Suicide Prevention Charity in Celbridge Co Kildare. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

Five new trustees have been appointed to the board of the embattled suicide prevention charity Console.

The appointments, designed to shore up the governance of the organisation, were made by the Charities Regulator, John Farrelly, using its statutory powers.

Meanwhile, the High Court is hearing an application on behalf Console for injunctions to ensure the continued running of the charity.

The application before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan is being brought by the acting chief executive, David Hall.

Mr Hall, who previously had no connection to the charity, was appointed a week ago to review its accounts and governance. On Thursday, the board appointed him interim chief executive. Mr Hall has said he will draw no salary while occupying this role.

Mr Farrelly said he has been assured immediate action is being taken to protect the assets of Console and to ensure the continuation of the services it provides.

“The role of a charity trustee is to provide governance and leadership, ensure the charity is in compliance with the law and ensure that the charity is carrying out its charitable purposes for the public benefit,” Mr Farrelly said.

“It is a key function of the Charities Regulator to ensure that there is public trust in the sector, which is why we have spent the last number of days identifying the people with the necessary competencies, skills and expertises in the areas of human resources, counselling services, accountancy, corporate governance, legal services, and the voluntary sector.”

The five trustees are: Diarmaid Ó Corrbuí, chief executive of the Carmichael Centre for voluntary groups and chairman of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland; Shelley Horan, barrister and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin; Bernie Gray, a former worker director with Eircom and a partner in Betterboards consultancy; Shay Ellis, human resources consultant and chairman of Westmeath Citizen’s Information Centre; and Penelope Kenny, chartered accountant.

The appointment of the five new trustees does not take effect until August 8th.