herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

Kelly's €650k mansion tops list of personal assets

Disgraced Console founder Paul Kelly Photo: Robbie Reynolds
Disgraced Console founder Paul Kelly Photo: Robbie Reynolds

The €650,000 home of shamed Console chief Paul Kelly will be the top personal asset to be disclosed in the High Court today.

The property, in Alexandra Manor, Clane, Co Kildare, features electric gates and once had Kelly's Mercedes and his wife Patricia's €57,000 Audi in the driveway.

It was the mark of a charmed life before revelations of his extravagant spending of charity funds shattered the dream.

Kelly had until 1pm yesterday to furnish statements of assets and any asset transfers made since 2012.

The full list will be revealed in the High Court today as efforts are made to find out what was paid for with charity funds.

The list features Console's headquarters, a five-bedroom house in the residential estate of Whitethorn Grove, Celbridge, Co Kildare. A third house, with a €500,000 mortgage, which was used for counselling off the Navan Road in Dublin, is also due to be listed.

The future of Console will be decided later this week when the charity's board meets. Members expected to have no option but to agree that an application for its liquidation be made on the grounds that it is insolvent.

It will mean the transfer of bereavement counselling services and Console's helpline to other charities including Pieta House, the Samaritans and Aware.

The HSE is understood to have agreed contingency plans to offer around 300 people undergoing counselling with Console the option to transfer to other services if the liquidation goes through.

The handing over of the services to other agencies is expected to cost the HSE significant extra funding on top of the €70,000 a month it previously paid Console.

Legal moves to secure the Kellys' assets are to be examined, but any decision will have to be weighed against the costs involved.

Interim chief executive David Hall and forensic accountant Tom Murray will make decisions in conjunction with the board of Console, which was founded in 2002.

Twelve staff are to lose their jobs while thousands of euro in outstanding fees are due to counsellors.

Eleven companies are linked to Paul Kelly, and a trust called the Console Foundation has also been discovered which had its own cheques and bank accounts.

Further evidence of difficulties between Kelly and health officials has emerged in correspondence between Console and the Department of Health.

He secured around €100,000 in National Lottery funding through the Department of Health while former minister Mary Harney was in office. The money was supposed to pay for some of the charity's operational costs.

The grant was given on condition that the charity furnished the department with a certificate of expenditure to demonstrate how the money was being spent.

Problem

However, it is understood that Kelly had to be written to three times in the course of two years to provide the necessary documentation.

He received €100,000 in Nat- ional Lottery funds in another year to set up a counselling and support service for children and teenagers bereaved by suicide.

Officials encountered the same problem when he failed to submit documents regarding certification of expenditure.

An official in the department's finance unit had to urge him to supply the details at his "earliest convenience".

Promoted articles

Entertainment News