Chicago Irish American News: May 2014:

A Sick Note from Angie; Two Fingers from Frankie

In an article posted on my own website and sub-headed Random Thoughts of an April 3rd I wrote, amongst other things, of the continuing Angela Kerins (ex-CEO of Rehab) saga:
“The overbearing feeling of entitlement that drips from this ghastly, grasping ‘charity worker’ would leave Pee and Beverley Flynn in the ha’penny place. In fact, as I watch her swagger around the gaff as if she doesn’t have a care in the world, I find myself reminded of a phrase that my old buddy Bernard Clarke once used to describe Marlon Brando’s approach to acting in his latter years: ‘A walking mass of contempt.’

“The big difference here is that Brando’s contempt appeared to be aimed at himself; Entitled Angie’s appears to be aimed at everyone else.

“Fine Gael’s Simon Harris seems to be worried that she might ‘decline’ to appear before the Public Accounts Committee in the future due to the fact that she is no longer an employee of Rehab. I doubt that, myself; but take a look at the wording of her resignation statement: note the expression “increasingly concerned about the toll that public controversy has taken on the Rehab group and my own family.”

“Oh yes, I do think that we might be ripe for a serving of the old ‘can’t appear because my health has broken down with the worry of it all’ codswallop. She would hardly be the first greedy grasper to pull that one.”

The three most beautiful words in the English language sprang to mind only a week later. No, not those ones; the phrase was Told you so. And she didn’t exactly leave me waiting long to get to say them. It was on the following Wednesday that she sent in her sick note to the Public Accounts Committee, whom she seems to regard as that group of upstarts who keep insisting on asking her awkward questions. Yep, she said that she must be excused from the classroom, explained about the strain of it all and how it’s taking a fierce terrible toll on her health altogether, as if she were some frail shrinking violet of the Silent Movie Era.
Also making his excuses (although he wasn’t sick, just bare-faced, hard-necked not coming in) was Fine Gael’s former Director of Organisations and Strategy, Frank Flannery. Now the interesting thing is that Frankie-boy has been working alongside Angie-baby for quite some time now. In fact he was the CEO himself between 1981 and 2006. Of course Frankie would like us to believe that since he hasn’t ‘worked’ for the charity since then, he shouldn’t have to be answering any questions. However, on the day of the double no-show we learned (what many already knew) that he had been coining it in as a ‘consultant’ ever since he stepped down. In fact, he has earned through this consulting—and ‘lobbying’, let’s not forget ‘lobbying’—in the neighbourhood of €409,000 between 2007 and 2013; and as Robert de Niro says in Midnight Run: “That’s a very respectable neighbourhood.”
In fact it’s so respectable that Frankie-boy was regularly doing the Charity Side-Step Shuffle with a tasty €5,000 a month. Seriously, if I had been one of the volunteers who stood in the rain with a collection box; or a fundraiser who devoted his/her own blood, sweat and tears to organising something to raise money to actually help people; and who then found out that it had paid for the likes of Angie-baby, Frankie-boy and Company to swan around the world, then you can bet your life I would be wanting answers. And sending in a damned sick note or just a flat-out refusal to attend would not bloody well cut it. (And as if the whole thing didn’t smell rotten enough many of Flannery’s payments were to Larragh Consultancy—which no longer existed.
As to being sick, well by God Kerins wasn’t too sick to instruct those busy lawyers of hers to fire off a directive to her previous employers at Rehab. She wasn’t too sick to be threatening all sorts if anybody revealed her remuneration, pension or any other dealings that she didn’t want the unwashed public—or the volunteers and fundraisers who would once have been condescendingly given hollow praise by her—to hear about it.
Those lawyers of hers must rub their sweaty little paws together every time they see her coming with yet another intimidating legal missive for them to fire off. Well, after what she’s been earning from her ‘charity work’ all these years she can well afford a whole team of lawyers. And so can Frank Flannery: his legal boys were on the case the same day. I guess that despite Angie being sick and all, they were able to grab a few spare moments to compare notes; and off to Rehab went Flannery’s threats not to mention his earnings. What a pair.
Lest we forget, it’s only in March of this year that Flannery exited Stage Left from his cushy job as Fine Gael Director of Elections; and that’s only because the proverbial was beginning to hit the fan over his Rehab doings. So to anyone reading this in Ireland, don’t forget to ask a few questions when Enda’s crew are knocking on your doorsteps. Ask them why a representative of Fine Gael, happy to be with an organisation that accepts €83 million of taxpayers’ money is able to give us the middle finger and be photographed having a pint whilst he tells us to take a hike, it’s none of our business.
Interestingly, the chancers from all parties should have been doing their rounds weeks ago, but I’ve yet to open the door to one of them—and by Heaven, how I’m looking forward to that happy evening! They just appear to be shoving their junk mail through the letterbox and then legging it. I’m certainly yet to hear their usual guff about ‘the reaction on the doorstep has been very positive’.
And here we go with the part of the Saga that I would like to see director Terry Gilliam filming…except that even he would find it too unbelievable.
Yes, it concerns Rehab and the imported Chinese coffin business that I mentioned in my last column. Sorry, with Angie stressed out we’re still stuck with the bare facts: the charity wanted to import coffins from a company in China; by complete coincidence Angie’s husband and her brother were co-owners of the company; also by complete coincidence so was the bould Frank Flannery; the company–Complete Eco Solutions– billed Rehab to the tune of €255,552 for 528 coffins but Rehab says that they’ve only paid €70,000.
I’m getting a migraine and I don’t even suffer from them.
To anyone out there who thinks that I’m banging on endlessly about this, I offer no apologies. As the details get murkier and murkier and people simply don’t care to follow what is going on, preferring instead to just completely stop giving to charity, it’s important to keep the clear facts in front of us.
And just for once in this country, maybe not hold endless questioning with bugger all to show for it at the end. ; or