Console controversy will be 'damaging' to charity sector - Jonathan Irwin

The High Court granted injunctions against former CEO Paul Kelly and a number of directors earlier this week

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A house on Ardpatrick Road in Dublin belonging to the charity Console | Image:

The founder of the Jack and Jill Foundation says controversy over funding at Console will do significant damage to the charity sector.

Paul Kelly resigned as the CEO of Concern over financial irregularities at the organisation.

An RTÉ report earlier this month revealed concerns about the charity, which provides counselling for people bereaved by suicide.

Meanwhile, details of a HSE audit of the Console books show company credit cards were used for trips to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Yesterday, lawyers for Mr Kelly and his wife Patricia confirmed the couple could not be contacted when they attempted to serve injunctions preventing them from accessing charity bank accounts.

The revelations about Concern follows public controversies over high levels of salaries paid to top executives at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) and the Rehab Group in 2013 and 2014.

Founder and CEO of the Jack and Jill Foundation Jonathan Irwin says these types of controversies damage the reputation of the not-for-profit sector.

"It's awful for the people who have been working for Console," he said. "It's awful for the people they've kept back from the edge of the precipice. It's awful for every single charity."