“Walter Mitty-esque” is the most common term used to describe the astonishing revelations about Console founder Paul Kelly over the past week.
Like the fictional character, Kelly comes across as having a vivid fantasy life. Numerous anecdotes have him walking down Grafton Street dressed as an airline pilot, soliciting funds as a priest and making a real-life court appearance for impersonating a doctor.
It was almost comic.
Susie [a former suicide charity volunteer] writes:
The publicity surrounding current efforts to obtain files and open up lock ups owned by Console I would contend is merely a distraction to hide the real issue of the Paul Kelly story.
And it is this.
How could a chancer like Kelly become so embedded in the Irish establishment?
Kelly set up Console in the early noughties and within a couple of years had the endorsement of all relevant agencies of the Irish State culminating in securing as its first two patrons Presidents McAleese and Higgins.
Can someone out there explain how this could have happened?
The charity and Paul Kelly in particular were extolled by the likes of Enda Kenny, Mary Harney, Mary Davis, James Reilly and priests, bishops and showbiz types too numerous to mention.
In December 2014, Paul Kelly appeared on the People of the Year award when as, the Irish Times correctly noted:
‘People who knew Kelly from his early days recognised him on television and were incredulous’.
However six months later the country’s two first ladies, Sabina Higgins and Fionnuala Kenny, were guests of honour at a Console lunch hosted by Paul Kelly.
Can anyone out there explain that?
Interestingly, Console was not just set up to counsel the bereaved. It was, up to its exposure, lobbying for changes in the way inquests of suicides are reported, ostensibly on grounds of sensitivity but open to a much darker interpretation.
As for the Irish Times. I started with a quote from last Saturday’s paper. The author forgot to mention that this obvious charlatan was allowed frequent op-ed space in the Irish Times [below]. It’s almost comic.
Pic: People Of The Year Award
Console interim CEO David Hall (top) and Patricia Kelly, formerly of Console, outside the Four Courts.
The High Court has heard the Console founders “engaged in a tactical and considered web of deceit while engaged in prolonged abuse of public trust and public money”.