CRC accounts say €3m loan is long term

Advance is ‘unsecured, interest-free and not repayable in the short term’

The most recent accounts for the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) describe a €3 million loan received from a related charity to help close a hole in a pension scheme as "unsecured, interest-free and not repayable in the short term".

In statement on Monday, a spokesman for the clinic said the loan was from the Friends and Supporters of the CRC, a charity associated with the clinic, and was “expected to be repaid in full by 2017”.

Pension advice
It said the loan went to a pension scheme that covered 70 former staff and was in response to a requirement from the Irish Pension Board together with advice received from the CRC's pension advisers.

The accounts say the clinic operates two defined benefit schemes. One scheme is externally funded and its assets are held separately from those of the clinic in an independently administered fund. An actuarial valuation carried out in January 2012 is not available for public inspection, according to the accounts.

The accounts say the scheme had assets of €23.9 million and liabilities of €27 million, making for a deficit of €3.13 million. The benefits paid out in 2012 were €738,000, a significant jump on the €425,000 paid out the previous year.

The accounts say a voluntary hospital valuation scheme is in operation for the "majority of the employees and is administered, funded and underwritten by the Department of Health and Children".

As well as the €3 million loan to the pension scheme, the charity also donated €400,000 to the clinic in 2012.

The directors of the Friends and Supporters company during 2012 were Hamilton Goulding, Hassia Jameson, James Nugent and Ailbe Rice, all of whom were also governors of the CRC.

The former chief executive of the clinic, Paul Kiely, whose salary from the clinic was being "topped up" by funds from the Friends and Supporters, was listed as secretary of both companies.

The purpose of the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic Ltd is to receive the proceeds of lotteries run by its agent, The Care Trust Ltd. It received €2.1 million in lottery proceeds in 2012.

The expenditure by the company included a provision for €385,000 against a loan to the Care Trust. It was not possible to ascertain last night the reasons behind this loan. The previous year a provision of €478,000 was similarly categorised.

'Related parties'
The Care Trust Ltd is owned equally by the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic and by the Sandymount, Dublin-based Rehab Foundation, another of the country's top charitable organisations.

Its directors in 2012 included Mr Hamilton, Mr Kiely, and Mr Nugent as well as three directors associated with Rehab and it transferred €3.8 million that year to the Friends and Supporters and Rehab.

The Friends and Supporters company is the owner of Central Remedial Clinic Medical Devices Ltd, a distribution company for mobility products. Its directors during 2012 were Mr Kiely, Mr Nugent, Mr Goulding and Vincent Brady. The company lost €66,303 in 2012 and had accumulated losses of €461,907 at that date.

Notes to the accounts say loans of €550,000 from “related parties” will not be sought for repayment until the company is in a position to pay them.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent