Govt Dept demands money back from Kildare based Console

Grants not spent according to agreement must be repaid

Conor McHugh


Conor McHugh


Foreign Affairs Dept demands money back from Console

Department of Foreign Affairs has demanded the money back.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has demanded that money it gave the Console charity to fund suicide bereavement services in the UK be returned.

It’s reported that that amounts to €150,889. Letters to that effect were sent to Paul and Patricia Kelly earlier today.

Mr Kelly was the former CEO of the Celbridge-based charity.

The Department administers the Emigrant Support Programme which funds projects that support Irish emigrants and communities abroad, with a particular focus on supporting the welfare of vulnerable members of our communities abroad.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015, This Programme paid Console UK and to Console Suicide Bereavement Counselling Ltd (Console Ireland) to provide counselling and welfare services to the Irish community in the UK.

In a statement, the Department explained that “in accepting a grant from the Department, recipients agree that any grants not spent in accordance with the grant agreement will be repaid”.

And on that basis, following the conclusion of an audit by the Department’s Evaluation and Audit Unit, the department is seeking the repayment of the money.

The statement says that there is an investigation ongoing by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement into what happened at Console.

Key figures involved with the charity have been interviewed in the past few months as part of that investigation and it’s also been reported that liquidator Tom Murray is coming to the end of his work winding up the charity.

Read more: Charities Regulator reported Kildare-based Console to Gardai

Opinion: Charities policy needs to change in wake of Console scandal