SHOCK! Systemic Dishonesty at St Michael’s House!



This week¬† I attended a meeting of the Family and Parent Council of St Michael’s House Northern Region. These meetings are very frustrating to attend as they achieve very very little.Challenging or questioning the status quo at these meetings is overtly frowned upon and dismissed.¬†The fact that the Parent and Family Councils are in place 4 years but cannot identify even one acheivement of note in that period says it all about their usefulness. They are generally used by St Michael’s¬†House itself to spread self promoting propaganda among the parents.

This meeting was no different. We had a presentation from¬†acting Chief Executive ¬†Paul Ledwidge. He retired on 31st December receiving a six figure redundnacy payment and a pension fund that will cost the tax payer many millions of euro to fund. He made much play on the fact that he was acting Chief Executive in a voluntary capacity until a replacement is found and appointed in early March¬†– but failed to say that his annual pension is exceedingly more than twice the average industrial wage -so he can well afford to be there voluntarily. He also says that he would be working in a voluntary capacity 2 days per week for the year 2011 – saying that he didn’t want things to go pear shaped after all his hard work – a huge insult to the current management team.

He gave a presentation lamenting the Government cutbacks and the effect it was having on the Provision of Services at St Michael’s House. During the presentation he proudly announced that one of the efficiencies that had happened was that employees now had to work a full 39 hour week. He stated that over the years it became customary for employees not to work a full week – but still to be paid for it. This outrageous statement was not picked up on by anybody attending. Here we had the Chief Executive of an organisation receiving almost 100 million euro of tax payers money and some of this money was being wasted by paying dishonest employees for a full week’s work when they were not doing a full week’s work.

What a disgrace and an insult¬†to all those who do volunteer¬†work¬†at¬†St Michael’s House that others can get paid for not working. More disgracefully Management were fully aware and allowed this despicable behavior to continue. Is it any wonder that there are cutbacks. When I listened to Paul Ledwidges presentation I was disgusted at the wanton waste and weak management within the organisation that he portrayed and I would have to say that until St Michael’s House becomes more efficient – no further expenditure should be allocated to them.In fact it is time to look at whether the organisation should be restructured and maybe broken up into smaller units.

We can only hope that the New Chief Executive to be appointed will have the necessary skills and ability to properly manage an organisation that  up until now,on the above evidence has been very poorly managed.

2 Responses to “SHOCK! Systemic Dishonesty at St Michael’s House!”

  1. Lisa says:

    That is an incredible story. You should go to a newspaper with it and shame them. How can people take that much money without feeling guilty? It’s frankly disgusting.

  2. Sean says:

    I agree with you on the point of the chief executive getting such a payoff considering the state of st Michaels house,but you should check your facts on the day centre staff and not label a large group of people dishonest, they do a very difficult job with little thanks or acknowledgement from management, ..and as usual management giving out half truths and misinformation , previously day staff worked through their lunch hours during the week ,now they work a 39 hour week with the lunch hour taken during the day.They weren’t being dishonest , they worked hours which were agreed to by St. Michaels house..


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