The Health Service Executive wrote to the Central Remedial Clinic on nine separate occasions this year expressing concern over the recruitment process undertaken to hire Brian Conlan as Chief Executive.
In letters seen by RTÉ News it said the consideration of a former board member’s application within an internal process was “highly irregular”.
Representatives of the Central Remedial Clinic will appear before the public accounts committee today to explain how public donations were used to top up the salaries of some of its executives.
However, the recruitment process used to hire Mr Conlan will also come under the spotlight.
He resigned this week and will not attend today’s committee hearing.
Documents show that there were at least nine letters sent by the HSE to directors of the CRC expressing concern over the recruitment process.
A letter sent on 26 June to the CRC Chairman Jim Nugent ordered the clinic to stop the recruitment process with immediate effect.
In July and August of this year the HSE issued two formal warnings over the appointment process.
It also threatened to withhold funding from the CRC.
In a statement Mr Conlan said his annual salary came entirely from HSE funding.
He said he was aware the HSE had taken issue with the size of the salary and asked the CRC board to reduce his payment.
“The Board agreed and the revised pay scale came into effect from 1 October last.
“I have reimbursed the HSE for the value of the net salary I received in excess of their guidelines between July and September”, he said.
Fine Gael TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee Simon Harris welcomed the decision by Mr Conlan to repay the HSE extra salary he received.
However, speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, deputy Harris called on the former CEO to reconsider his decision not to appear before the committee.
“I think it’s highly regrettable that Mr Conlan has made a unilateral and arbitrary decision that he has nothing to add to the process.
“It’s very hard to understand how he is not responsible or answerable for his tenure.”
CRC parents express disappointment
A parent of a child who uses the services of the CRC has said families are horrified and disgusted at the controversy over top-up payments.
Speaking on Morning Ireland, Ciara Nagle said there is a huge sense of disappointment and disgust from parents and staff at the facility.
Ms Nagle said she is very worried about the impact on services in the wake of the controversy and added that the facility’s ‘Santa Bear’ fundraising campaign has been badly affected.
“Santa Bears are being sent back from schools and shops because they can’t sell them. It is detrimental to fundraising.”