The former chairman of the Central Remedial Clinic, Hamilton Goulding, has said the sanctioning of a retirement package of more than €740,000 for the Clinic's former CEO, Paul Kiely, actually saved the Clinic money in the long term.

In an interview in the Irish Daily Mail, Mr Goulding said he was over a year into his chairmanship at the CRC before he found out that Mr Kiely's salary was €234,000.

Mr Goulding, whose mother Lady Valerie Goulding founded the CRC, said the early retirement package was the only way of tackling Mr Kiely's salary and that it actually saved the Clinic money in the long term.

Mr Goulding said that after Mr Kiely became chairman in 2010, he tried repeatedly to cut his €240,000-a-year salary, but was told he could not.

He added that giving Mr Kiely an early retirement package and hiring a successor on a far lower salary, saved the CRC more than €1m.

"The day we finalised Paul Kiely's package I was so delighted because I felt we had saved the CRC more than €1.4m in the long term and that was my intention all along," he said.

When asked if he felt Mr Kiely should pay the money back, Mr Goulding said he thought it would be a good gesture to give something back but that is a decision for Mr Kiely.

Earlier, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan has said the controversy over the financial management of the Central Remedial Clinic has uncovered an astounding set of circumstances which are absolutely shocking.

In an interview on The Business on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, Mr Noonan added his voice to fellow Cabinet ministers and opposition TDs, saying that the €750,000 retirement package awarded to the former CEO Paul Kiely should be paid back.

Mr Noonan said the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts should be allowed to process all the information after examining the relevant witnesses.

He said he hoped the former chairman Hamilton Goulding would appear before the committee.

Mr Noonan said he did not think it would be appropriate that the Committee would be inhibited in any way by an early intervention of the gardaí.

Public Accounts Committee Chairman reacts

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness has said the PAC needs to complete their work in investigating the financial management of the CRC before action is taken by any other State agency.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday with Claire Byrne, Mr McGuinness said this was necessary to ensure that those who were doing wrong are brought to justice.

Mr McGuinness also said that the interim administrator of the CRC John Cregan would brief the PAC on all the paperwork he has and what he has found.

He said the members of the former Board, the former CEO Paul Kiely and former Chief Executive Brian Conlon would be brought back before the PAC on the same day to go through Mr Cregan's findings in detail.

The comments by Mr McGuinness and Mr Noonan came after Mr Goulding said the sanctioning of a pension package of more than €740,000 for former CEO Paul Kiely actually saved the clinic money in the long term. 

Elsewhere, Sinn féin TD Mary Lou McDonald has said that people should reserve judgment on the motives of the decision to give the former CEO of the CRC Paul Kiely a pension package of more than €740,000.

Ms McDonald was reacting to comments made by the former chairman of the CRC, Hamilton Goulding has who said Mr Kiely's substantial pension actually saved the Clinic money in the long term.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, she said that the CRC was an organisation on the watch of the HSE that was deliberating breaching public policy.

She said senior executives were breaking the rules in respect of salary and she said they were breaking the rules and regulations in terms of the pension that was awarded to Mr Kiely.