Paul Kelly asked to return 'People of the Year' award

The former CEO of Console resigned from the charity following allegations of deception and mis-management

Console's former CEO Paul Kelly has been asked to return his People of the Year award, by the organisers of the event.

The national suicide charity has been shrouded in controversy since it was revealed that Kelly and his family racked up credit card bills of €500,000 on designer clothes and foreign trips.

He was awarded a People of the Year award in 2014 for his suicide prevention work.

In a statement this afternoon the event organisers, Rehab, said that on foot of these recent revelations and queries from the public they have written to Mr. Kelly asking him to return the award.

The group said it had done so in order to "protect the standing and integrity of the awards".

"The value and esteem of the Awards is based on the high regard that the people of Ireland have for the award recipients and the fact that each of the winners is nominated by members of the public," the statement said.

It also made clear that this decision is no reflection on the many volunteers and fundraisers who, through Console, have helped many thousands of people bereaved by suicide, as the award was made to Paul Kelly personally.

Yesterday, an order was made to restrain Mr. Kelly - along with his wife Patricia and his sister Joan McKenna - from accessing the charity's funds.

David Hall was also appointed as interim CEO, and the Charities Regulator appointed five new trustees to the board of group.