Rehab promises to quickly deal with allegations

Public Accounts Committee refers claims by developer to Garda

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

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

 

Rehab says it will do “everything in its power” to ensure allegations made by a developer against people involved with the charity are dealt with as quickly as possible.

The Public Accounts Committee yesterday decided to refer allegations made in a letter by Wicklow-based developer John Kelly against senior people involved with Rehab to An Garda Síochána.

In a statement last night, the charity said it is “not aware of the content of this letter, beyond what has been published by the Public Accounts Committee”.

“The board of the Rehab Group is very concerned that allegations have been made which reference Rehab, and will do everything in its power to ensure this matter is dealt with as swiftly as possible.”

The committee discussed Mr Kelly’s letter at a private meeting yesterday.

Legal advice
TDs took legal advice on the allegations, 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,” he said. The committee was advised the allegations were outside its remit, and agreed that they be forwarded to the Garda.

Not protected
The contents of the letter were not disclosed and are not protected by parliamentary privilege. Rehab, as well as its former director and recently resigned Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery, are also to be invited to appear before the committee on April 10th.

Mr McGuinness said answers provided by Rehab to 12 questions from the committee needed further explanation .There was no information on payments for Mr Flannery’s lobbying activities, he said.

Mr McGuinness said they would be asking Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins, Mr Flannery, chairman Brian Kerr, the group’s remuneration committee and its director of financeto attend.

John Kelly was one of the high profile developers of the Celtic Tiger. He was the biggest clients of the former solicitor Thomas Byrne’s now closed practice. Last December Byrne was sentenced to 16 years for stealing €52 million from the banks and defrauding 13 clients.

At his trial Mr Byrne said he was threatened by Mr Kelly into taking out loans, but did not run a legal defence of duress. Mr Kelly rejected the allegations as “scurrilous and false” , through his solicitior.