Rehab CEO Angela Kerins steps down

AUDIO: Health Minister James Reilly backs calls for Angela Kerins to still appear before the Public Accounts Committee

Updated 12.00

The Chief Executive of the Rehab Group is to retire.

Angela Kerins has been the subject of public controversy over her salary at the charity and the low profitability of the Rehab scratchcard scheme.

She says she is stepping down becasue she is increasingly concerned about the toll that the issues are taking on the Rehab Group and her family.

The Health Minister James Reilly is backing the calls for Angela Kerins to still appear before the Public Accounts Committee - despite her retirement:

The HSE Chief Tony O'Brien is refusing to comment on Ms Kerins' decision.

He says he "doesn't know enough about it":

The departure of Angela Kerins from Rehab is being described as a 'fresh start' for the organisation.

Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay told Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show he feels Angela Kerins is responsible for the difficulties she referenced in her statement, and he said her actions were damaging to the charity sector in general: 

Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin was strident in her questioning of Ms. Kerins at the PAC - she told Newstalk's Breakfast she is cynical about the motivations behind today's decision and she is warning the former CEO she will still be required to cooperate with the Committee:

The controversy ignited after it was revealed that sales of almost €4 million of Rehab scratch cards in 2010 yielded profits of only under €9,500.

In February, Ms Kerins was brought before the Public Accounts Committee - where she was grilled over her €240,000 pay packet and claims she made that she earned less than the market rate.

The committee appearance only brought more pressure on Kerins and Rehab, with embattled director Frank Flannery handing in his resignation last month and PR adviser Michael Parker ending his relationship with the charity on Monday.

Full statement

"The Board of the Rehab Group has been informed of the decision by Angela Kerins to retire from her post as Rehab Group Chief Executive.

The Chairman of the Rehab Group, Brian Kerr said: “Angela Kerins has led the Rehab Group with dedication and resolve. During her two decades with the organisation she has always striven to ensure that those who needed its services received the best possible support. The Board would like to thank Ms Kerins sincerely for her leadership of the Rehab Group over the last seven years and wish her every success in the future”.

In a message to Rehab Group staff Ms. Kerins said: “In recent months, I have become increasingly concerned about the toll that public controversy has taken on the Rehab Group and my own family. While I have dedicated my energies and ability to growing and developing the Rehab Group for the last 22 years I am of the view that it is in the best interests of all concerned that I step down at this time.

In doing so I hope the organisation can focus its entire energies on its core activity of developing and delivering services to people with disabilities and others who are disadvantaged. I want to thank my many colleagues for their great support throughout my time in Rehab. I wish everyone, the people who work for Rehab and the people who use its services, all the very best”.

A management transition process is being put in place to ensure that the important work of the Rehab Group continues as usual."