12 July 2016
By Elaine Murphy
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Deputy Jonathan O’Brien this evening called for tighter regulation of the charity sector during a motion on in the Dáil.
Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said:
“Like everyone else, I was shocked by the news that emerged from Console in recent weeks. I was very disappointed to hear that frontline staff providing services in Console were not paid on time and CEO Paul Kelly and his wife and son were in receipt of enormous salaries and further spent €500,000 of Console’s funds on designer clothes, holidays and their own groceries.
“People did not organise fundraisers and run marathons and do sponsored walks so that Paul Kelly and his wife and son could wear designer clothes.
“We understand that although the vast majority of non-governmental organisations in the not-for-profit or charity sector who are providing services set out to do good work, they must also be subject to reasonable levels of scrutiny so that we can identify poor practice.
“It is a shame that people who did genuine work in organisations like Console and Rehab – who had no knowledge of what was going on with Paul Kelly – will be tarred with the same brush as those who engaged in mismanagement of public funds.
“What happened was an insult to those who fundraised as well as those who worked in an ethical manner for those organisations.
“It is for this reason that we believe there should be a critical review of the HSE’s governance framework as well as an enhanced governance code for the charity sector.”