herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Revelations about Kelly 'knocked me for six' says singer and senator Frances

Frances Black. Photo: Tom Burke
Frances Black. Photo: Tom Burke

Senator, singer and charity head Frances Black has said revelations about former Console CEO Paul Kelly have left her shocked and disappointed.

Kelly was also a director of Ms Black's charity The Rise Foundation, set up to help families of people who struggle with addiction.

She has moved to reassure its supporters that the disgraced charity chief had no involvement in the foundation's finances and received no funds or remuneration of any kind for his work.

Resign

"Given the current case and the allegations, he has been told to resign," she told the Herald.

Ms Black said the charity had sent him a letter, but had yet to receive a response.

Over the last week it has emerged how Kelly used the suicide bereavement charity Console's resources to finance a lavish lifestyle for him and his family.

Charity funds were used to purchase everything from groceries to long-distance travel, designer clothes and even dental work.

Kelly had backed Ms Black's campaign for election to the Seanad and she spoke of her personal shock at the allegations against him.

"As you can imagine, I'm very upset by it all. I'm shocked. I'm disappointed. It knocked me for six," she said.

The singer turned senator said she first met Kelly during the Console's Celebration of Light events.

"I've seen the impact of those events the families are there the impact the events have on them is fantastic," she said.

She acknowledged the revelation around Console were likely to negatively impact support for the charity sector.

Governance

But she said the problems with Console were at corporate governance level and its staff should be commended for the fantastic work they do.

"I really hope the work of Console continues.

"The people in that charity are fantastic. I hope, because the service is great, that it continues," she said.

"It's about corporate governance not the staff," she said.

"There's not much more I can say I'm just so disappointed," she added.

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