This website is coming to you this morning despite efforts by lawyers for Angela Kerins, the head of Rehab Ireland. This charitable group is currently under massive scrutiny over how much they paid Kerins and her other top operatives from the Irish government’s purse and from money donated to the charity.
As of Thursday (Feb 13) our host server Clickability was told in a lawyer’s letter that they were liable for an article written here two weeks ago and warned to take it down immediately. We apparently will also be sued.
Thank God for the First Amendment is what I say.
The article in question was written by our Irish correspondent John Spain a few weeks back. He wrote about the massive anger in Ireland over outrageous salaries paid to top charity officials. John, in his typical style, did not mince words.
Among the facts he covered was the case of the Central Remedial Clinic where former CEO Paul Kiely was earning about $400,000 dollars and had a near million dollar severance package taken in significant part from charitable givings and government subvention.
Then came the curious case of Angela Kerins, a former Fianna Fail supporter, who seemed to end up on every board going in Ireland, which is what happens when you are politically connected.
She runs a group called Rehab, which helps people with mental and physical challenges. The group received over $100 million in state funds in 2013.
It runs a scratch card lottery which incredibly made less than $13,000 profit on $5 million in revenue last year. The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter slammed how the lottery was run.
He said the scheme “incentivizes charities to leverage public funds, payable under the scheme, by maximizing their gross ticket sales with no regard to either operating costs or how much of the money raised by ticket sales is, in fact, used for charitable purposes.”
The Irish Times reported that “An audit carried out by the Department of Justice found that Rehab used €700,000 (close to $1 million) in public funding provided under the charitable lotteries scheme on communications, marketing and hospitality costs linked to lobbying activity.
“This funding was provided on the basis it be used for charitable activities only and not for administrative purposes, according to the audit report.”
The Irish Independent reported that the Public Accounts Committee in the Irish parliament had estimated that $160 million in public money had not been properly spent by Rehab..
“Public funding totaling €120m awarded to embattled charity Rehab ‘has not been put to efficient use’, new briefing documents for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) suggest.”
Strangely Kerins went on an Irish radio program and called for accountability after recent charity scandals like at the Central Remedial Clinic but then in a laughable moment refused to disclose her own salary.
We do know it was about $300,000 plus massive perks a few years ago. John Spain referred to the perks as “staggering levels of extras she was getting in expenses, allowances, pension contributions, health benefits a top of the range Audi car and so on.”
As John stated “A conservative estimate of her total package a couple of years ago put it at well over €400,000 ($530,000) for running a charity.”
In a country staggering under the weight of massive debt where charities are crying out for funds, comes a person like this making a fortune like this. No wonder ordinary people in the street are frustrated and charitable donations are slipping. Close to $2 million in funding has disappeared as charities are reeling from the revelations
As the Irish Times noted in a recent headline “Rehab consistently falls short on transparency”.
On Monday the Rehab board will decide whether to disclose Angela’s salary or not. IrishCentral will be delighted to reveal the answer to that question and keep reporting on this issue, lawsuit or not.
We will not be silenced.