Former suicide charity CEO refuses to return People of the Year award

Paul Kelly won the award in 2014 for his work in suicide prevention

Paul Kelly, Console, savings account, assets, frozen, High Court, Patricia Kelly

Console founder Paul Kelly at a Dublin conference in 2011 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The former boss of the suicide charity Console has refused to give back his People of the Year award.

Paul Kelly was bestowed the award in 2014 for his work with suicide prevention, but organisers asked for it back following revelations of a misspending scandal in July forcing the charity into liquidation.

Console CEO Paul Kelly stepped down following a report by the RTÉ Investigations Unit on Prime Time.

The report revealed concerns about the charity, which provides counselling for people bereaved by suicide.

Console recorded an income of just over €1.9m in 2014, almost half of it from state agencies, mainly the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Organisers of the event wrote to Mr Kelly in July, but have yet to get a reply.

"As a previous recipient, Mr Kelly is aware of the importance and signifance of the awards to the Irish people and of the importance of upholding their integrity," they said in a statement. "The Peopl of the Year Awards have unfortunately received no response from Mr Kelly at this stage."

It added that it was no reflection on the work of Console, its volunteers or its fundraisers.