Revealed: Console charity fat cat's luxury home

NewsBy Patrick O'Connell
Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly – who resigned this week amid contested allegations of serious financial irregularities at the suicide charity Console – splurged on a €900,000 luxury home at the peak of the property bubble.

Land Registry deeds show Kelly and his wife purchased No.10 Alexandra Manor in Abbeylands, Clane, Co. Kildare, on May 29, 2006, a year after homes in the estate went on sale, asking between €890,000 and €1m.

A second property first registered to Kelly in 1997 at 4 Whitethorn Grove in Celbridge had a mortgage of €270,000 registered in 2006.

Kelly remains the registered owner of the Clane property.

Similar properties in the estate have changed hands for between €430,000 and €580,000 in the past two years.

Kelly was this week forced to step down as chief executive of the charity, just two years after being named Person of the Year by the Angela Kerins led Rehab charity.

His resignation this week came on foot of a series of contested allegations regarding financial irregularities at the charity contained in the Prime Time Investigates programme ‘Broken Trust’.

The programme alleged that Kelly paid directors, including his wife Patricia, €215,000 in contravention of laws governing the charity’s tax exemption status.

It was also revealed that when applying for state grants the charity altered accounts to omit references to directors’ pay and other benefits.

Paul Kelly's home in Clane

In documents submitted to funders, the charity also claimed as board members people who did not hold those positions.

It's understood the HSE is seeking a full response from Console on funds totalling around €500,000 which were used for a range of items.

These include supermarket groceries, clothes and flowers and a trip he and a family member made to New Zealand and Australia to attend conferences, according to informed sources. 

Paul Kelly declined a request for interview from RTE, but in a statement he insisted accounts supplied to funders were “draft accounts” and that “any assertion of intentional wrongdoing on the part of Console, the CEO and/or directors... is fully denied”. 

Details of Kelly’s past – including a court appearance over a three-week stint where he posed as a doctor – were also revealed by the programme.

It was alleged that in fundraising letters sent to Irish companies he referred to himself as Brother Paul Kelly OSD.

OSD is understood to refer to the Order of San Damiano, of which Kelly was found to be the sole member.

A spokesperson for the Gardaí said the issues raised are being assessed.