The Mitty Gritty



Paul Kelly

“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.

Former Console chief Paul Kelly described as a ‘Walter Mitty’ (Paul Cullen, Irish Times)


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.

2 1  3

Good times.

Pic: People Of The Year Award




This afternoon.

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”.


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32 thoughts on “The Mitty Gritty

  1. Medium Sized C

    The bar for the op-ed page in the IT is not very high.

    If there is a moral to that sub-plot it’s “Don’t read opinion pages”.
    They are not helping you.

    Also, did Console do good?

    1. kellma

      I’m sure it did. A lot of “decent” people worked for that organisation. The problem is….. it could have done a lot more with the money it had if it hadn’t been used for the lavish lifestyles of Mr Kelly, his trouble and strife and his gravy train son…

      1. Medium Sized C

        That’s not what the post is about, though/

        Like if a charity is doing good work, why then is it so mindbendingly difficult to understand how the people at the top would be getting away with milking it.

        If Console was doing great work consoling the bereaved or what-have-you, why is it so dumbfounding that high profile people (who I might suggest do not necessarily have fiscal investigation skills at the top of their C.V.’s) would be nice to them?

        1. Bodger

          Medium Sized C when the president becomes patron of a charity you would expect a bit of due diligence.

  2. DubLoony

    If “everyone” knew he was such a chancer, why was he not exposed much sooner?

  3. The Real Jane

    Definitely goes to prove that people will take you at your word for the most part.

  4. gorugeen

    And he continues on his charade. Hiding in a psychiatric hospital. In the very place where genuinely suicidal folks seek refuge. Disgusting individual.

    1. Willie Banjo

      It would be funny if he was hiding out in St John of Gods to get away from all talk of scandal….

      1. Bodger

        ‘While still a teenager he became a novice with the St John of God order in Co Kildare where, it is claimed, he developed a reputation as a practical joker, often attending theology classes dressed as a nun.’ Irish Times.

    2. Junkface

      Its unbelievable, he’s a real A-hole. Pretending to be mentally ill now, wasting more peoples time. He should have topped himself

  5. Eoin

    He may have been a chancer, but he was handing out public relations gold dust to the ‘elites’ of society. You have to be seen at the right charity events etc. if you’re one of that lot.

  6. bisted

    …with Paul Kelly gone, the Irish Times opinion and analysis section will hardly be worth reading…just Breda O’Brien left to uphold decency and trust…all donations welcome at Iona…

  7. Kolmo

    Charity is big business in a country where governments devolved the responsibility to perform the basic functions of a modern state, where perennial social problems are dealt with on the whim of charitable organisations and part-time, unpaid, volunteers instead of the State, it’s the state who ultimately have the biggest interest in maintaining social stability but have delegated and delegated again to buffer itself from reality. Serious revolution in thinking is required. One commentator said that the only thing that have prospered in the recession are Fast Food outlets, Gambling Shops and Charity shops – big, unregulated, business.

    1. Verbatim

      A very lucid comment above. In France, when the soup kitchen “Resto de coeur” was set up, the founder said if it was still running 10 years later consider it a failure, it’s still going 30 year’s on. When are the roots of all corruption going to be finally pulled in Ireland?

  8. Owen C

    “The current efforts to obtain files and open up lock ups I would contend is merely a distraction to hide the real issue of the Paul Kelly story.”

    Are you sure its not just the gathering of evidence? You know, like would be required if you actually want to convict this chancer?

    1. Jonsmoke

      I think the point is that the gathering of evidence is happening in with journalists and photographers present, resulting in ‘revealed – contents of Kelly’s secret stash type headlines etc..

  9. JimmyTheHead

    Prison is too good for people like this, he should be donated to a human testing facility… tho “human” would be a bit of an upgrade for his current status.

  10. adrian

    “How could a chancer like Kelly become so embedded in the Irish establishment?”


  11. Mulder

    As always used to say, charity begins at home.
    Clear, the console directors took this saying literally.

  12. TheQ47

    “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.”

    What’s the darker interpretation?

  13. Kdoc1

    If that type of money from a charity can go astray it suggests that the charity didn’t need the money in the first place.
    It’s also clear that we have too many charities doing the same or similar work e.g. Goal, Concern, Trocaire Bothair. They all have CEO’s and administration staff and it begs the question: why don’t they merge?

  14. Liam Deliverance

    That picture would make you sick. I can only hope that the Kellys and others who are guilty in this fraud get lengthy sentences in prison and for chrisakes lets put proper charges on the books for this sort of crime with respect to a charity organisation. Eg Minimum of 10 years. If there was no law against driving while under the influence everybody would be at it. The laws are there to control behaviour, without them we will have an infinite amount of despicable people like Paul Kelly destroying whats left of the goodwill in this country.

  15. Otis Blue

    It’s notable that all of the creeps, shysters and sociopaths outed over the years have always, always been hiding in plain view. And on and it’ll go. For the great and good associations with charity are always good for their personal ‘brand’

    As an aside, why the hell is David Hall next nor near this?

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