Fat cats and their feeders


How does a cat get fat? Or a dog or a cow or a hamster, come to that?  Because his/her owner feeds him/her often and usually with food that’s fatty.

So when I see a moggie sitting by the fire looking like a portable sofa-cushion,  I don’t get annoyed with the cat.  I blame the owner.

And as with cats, so with Paul Kiely.  He’s the former CEO of the Central Remedial Clinic in the south.  The CRC  is a charity which cares for children and adults with physical disabilities like cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy. It does some outstanding work for these people and relies on the generosity of public support. When people give money to a charity, the one nagging question at the back of their mind is “How much of my money will go to the cause in question and how much to other people?” Which is where Paul Kiely comes in. He got a €740,000 severance package from the CRC when he bowed out. Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, who chairs the public spending watchdog PAC (yes I did say Fianna Fáil, Virginia, and stop laughing) isn’t a bit pleased and Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, another PAC member, says he has ten questions he wants answered.

Now. There’s a lot of pressure coming on Kiely to give back a sizeable chunk of the money. My advice to Kiely: tell them to take a walk. When he took the job of CEO, he presumably signed a contract which included a severance package. If he’s legally entitled to pick up €740,000 then he’s a very lucky boy and should take the money and run. Would you give a large chunk of it back? No, me neither.

The people who should be pilloried for this scandalous amount should be the people who decided they would divert the money towards the out-going CEO. It’s appalling and ultimately self-destructive when a charity pays its employees vast sums like this. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people would have kept their money in their pocket if they had known this was going on. But as I say, don’t blame the guy who’s been handed the pot of gold. Blame the leprechaun brains who set up a system where this could happen. Oh, and don’t forget those politicians. I mean, a Fianna Fáil man in charge of a spending watchdog. Whoever devised that one certainly had a sense of humour.



9 Responses to Fat cats and their feeders

  1. Pat Mac Murphy January 20, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Most certainly a farcical situation and the hypocrisy that a FF TD chairs the spending watchdog is obtuse.

  2. michael January 20, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    totally disagree with you on this jude in no way did the people who gave to this charity intend for their donation to go towards this mans severance package when i had to leave my job on medical advice all i got was what i was legally entitled to and no more

    • Jude Collins January 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      Michael a chara: I am in total agreement with you. I don’t think this money should have gone to his severance package either. But the fact is it did. So as I say, I don’t blame the fat cat, I blame those who fed him.

  3. Argenta January 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    While there are certain ironies in a Fianna Fáil T D being Chair of the Public Accounts Committee at the moment,is it not normally the practice for a member of the main opposition party to hold this office.This seems to be the custom at Westminister and Leinster House.The exception of course is at Stormont where Sinn Fein hold the chairmanship !

  4. Larry Murphy January 23, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    So Jude, you believe that former CEO Paul Kiely had neither hand nor influence in deciding the size of his generous severance package, though your belief seems based on a ‘presumably’ and an ‘if’, possibly not the soundest of foundations. I am by nature and experience inclined to be more cynical especially regarding retiring ‘fat cats’.

    • Jude Collins January 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

      Good hear your voice, Larry – hope you’re cycling with reckless abandon.
      Now. My experience as an employee has always been that the employer decided how much I’d be paid. In my innocence I assumed that would apply to Mr Kiely. If it didn’t, then of course he deserves criticism/condemnation for fashioning such a large honey-pot for himself. If on the other hand his employers did the fashioning (my assumption) then he’d need to be more high-minded than me to say ‘No, that’s too much’. You ever told your employers that, Larry?

      • Larry Murphy January 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

        “he’d need to be more high-minded than me to say ‘No, that’s too much’. You ever told your employers that, Larry?”

        Oh yes Jude. For a number of years I was Secretary of the Fermanagh branch of TEBOP (Teachers Embarrassed By OverPayment) and we regularly organised petitions and delegations to the Minister of Education begging that our salaries be reduced.

        • Jude Collins January 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

          Ha hahahaaa. Nice one, Larry. Good to know your funny-bone hasn’t been removed as yet…

  5. ZenaWolf January 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    Sorrily Fat Cats exist everywhere and most of them don’t even have a fake watchman.
    Italy gots lots of them too. If questioned as to where the money went they get very annoyed.