Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has called on Government to consider taking full control of the Central Remedial Clinic following the further revelations about remuneration at yesterday’s Public Accounts Committee.

Deputy Martin commented, “Yesterday’s revelation that the former Chief Executive of the CRC received €750,000 upon his retirement has left citizens across the country outraged.  The fact that the leadership of this organisation would decide to spend almost half of that year’s voluntary contributions to personally enrich a colleague demonstrates a catastrophic failure of basic moral judgement and raises very fundamental questions about the sustainability of the current governance model.

“The services of the CRC are absolutely essential to very many families.  We heard this morning in the national media of the real pain and betrayal felt by these families as they come to terms with the fact that voluntary donations were used by people they trusted in a grotesque distortion of what they were intended for.

“These revelations pose a major threat to the fundraising activities of the organisation and the sustainability of the service.  Rather than allow the current crisis of confidence to continue, I believe the Government should act quickly to consider taking direct control of the facility and its operations.  Words of condemnation and outrage are understandable, but these will do nothing to secure the services that many vulnerable people rely on.  We need direct and clear intervention that makes it clear to the public that the abuses being uncovered cannot be repeated and that voluntary donations, which are absolutely essential, can only ever be used for the purpose they were intended.

“The Government should, as a first step enact charities regulation laws and immediately investigate the governance changes necessary to bring the CRC facility under the direct control of the HSE.  I believe that direct responsibility would give the public the necessary confidence to continue supporting this service.”