Charlie Bird Pulls Book Royalties Over Console Scandal


One Day in May author Charlie Bird has announced he will not be donating proceeds of his book to Console following questions over the suicide charity’s finances.

The move follows a shocking RTÉ investigation into financial irregularities at Console which aired this week.

The investigation revealed that the suicide charity – which receives HSE funding – spent funds on foreign travel, cars, designer clothes, restaurants and Rugby World Cup tickets.

A reported €500,000 was charged to company’s credit cards for luxury items from Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss, holidays and groceries, reports The Independent. A further €500,000 was spend by Console founder Paul Kelly, wife Patricia and son Tim, on cars and salaries.

Bird is not the only one to have expressed shock at news of the charity’s spending. Restauranteur Derry Clarke, proprietor of L’Ecrivan and a support of the Console following his son’s suicide, said his “blood was boiling” after hearing the findings of the investigation.

“The reaction from me really was disgust. I feel not just for myself but for all the thousands of people that have spent the last few years fundraising for Console and do it in trust,” he told RTÉ Radio One.


“My blood was boiling, actually. In January a generous benefactor gave me a cheque for €26,000, which I gave directly to Console.”

Rumours of financial impropriety have followed the Kelly family since 2009. “We had some concerns about [Paul Kelly] four years ago, though not in regard to the operation of Console, but we didn’t have much evidence,” president of the Irish Association Of Suicidology Dan Neville told The Herald.

“With the HSE prepared to substantially front him, I suppose we took some comfort in that and assumed its systems would ensure, given the level of funding involved, that every cent would be properly accounted for.

“Given these concerns, and his well documented past, I always felt that something [like this] might happen with Kelly in charge.”

A post on Charlie Bird’s Facebook stated that proceeds of the author’s book One Day in May, which chronicles the struggle for marriage equality, would no longer be donated to Console.

“It is with sincere regret that we have learnt of the serious financial concerns in relation to the organisation and we feel it would be inappropriate to make any contribution,” the Facebook post read.

A High Court action involving Console is expected to be heard this afternoon. It is understood the injunctions sought will aim to secure the assets of the charity, reports RTÉ.

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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