Rehab refuses to say if Kerins will get severance payment

PAC says she should still appear at a scheduled public hearing in Leinster House

Rehab has declined to say whether outgoing chief Angela Kerins will receive a severance payment, as she resigned "in the best interest of all concerned" after months of controversy over the affairs of the disability group.

Members of the Oireachtas Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) said she should still appear at a public hearing in Leinster House next Thursday, alongside six other management and board figures.

Rehab’s expectation is that she will attend. “The board recently has said the Rehab invitees will attend the forthcoming meeting of the PAC on 10 April. We are not aware of any change in that regard,” said a spokesman.

Committee chairman John McGuinness said the dealings with Rehab were likely to be raised at a committee meeting today. “We have the same list of witnesses now that we require to see. That has been explained to Rehab,” said Mr McGuinness (FF).


Remuneration panel
In addition to Ms Kerins, the

committee wants to hear directly from Rehab chairman Brian Kerr, director of finance Keith Poole and members of the board's remuneration panel.

Mr Kerr is on this panel, as are non-executive directors Declan Doyle, Hugh Governey and Liam Hogan.

The committee has also asked to see former Rehab director Frank Flannery, Ms Kerins's predecessor as chief executive, who resigned, last month. The Rehab spokesman did not comment on the likelihood of Mr Flannery attending.

Ms Kerins trained and worked as a midwife before joining Rehab and became chief executive in 2006. Known to have Fianna Fáil links, she has also been a member of State boards and bodies.

In a letter yesterday to Rehab staff, Ms Kerins said Rehab was a “unique organisation” and that it had been a privilege to lead it.

“While it is difficult to do, I am of the clear view that it is in the best interest of all concerned that I step down at this time.”

She is known to have received anonymous threats in recent times and, in a public statement, referred to strain on her family and on Rehab.

“In recent months I have become increasingly concerned about the toll that public controversy has taken on the Rehab group and my own family,” she said.

Clear statement
The Rehab board said it had been informed of Ms Kerin

s’s decision to retire. Mr Kerr paid tribute to Ms Kerins, saying the outgoing chief executive always worked to ensure that those who needed the disability group’s services received the best possible support.

Asked whether her resignation followed any board intervention, the spokesman said the public statements of the board and Ms Kerins were clear.

The value of Ms Kerins’s annual remuneration package is some €272,400 and her resignation is effective tomorrow, more than four years ahead of her scheduled retirement at the age of 60.

Although severance terms are routine in high-level employment contracts of this nature, Rehab divulged nothing when asked whether she was to receive any ex-gratia or lump sum payments.

“The terms are in line with her existing contract arrangements. The terms of the contract are confidential and Rehab cannot divulge them without the express permission of Ms Kerins,” said the spokesman.

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley is Current Affairs Editor of The Irish Times

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times