An Garda Síochána is due to publish a report with regard to what are seen as ‘financial irregularities’ at the Garda Training College in Templemore, Co. Tipperary.
The Garda’s Internal Audit Section have examined financial transactions over a number of years at the Templemore college and are understood to have discovered what are regarded as financial irregularities, suggesting that money may have been spent on gifts and entertainment.
The report, forwarded to the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner, identified a large number of bank accounts examined as part of a non-transparent system of accounting. One such account, identified as a laundry account; it appears was not being used for the purpose as identified.
However, the Garda Commissioner, Mrs Nóirín O’Sullivan, has stated that she regards the issue as merely a past legacy problem. While she admits that the then prevailing accounting practices would not be in acceptable by today’s standards, there has never been in fact any misappropriation of money or misuse of public funding.
Last night Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Mrs Frances Fitzgerald informed those in attendance in Dáil Éireann that the report raises governance issues. Same will be referred to the Comptroller and Auditor General and to the Public Accounts Committee whose mission is to provide independent assurance that public funds and resources are used in accordance with the law and are managed to good effect while properly accounted for; thus, contributing to improvement in public administration.
For the last week, the Garda force nationally has come under strong criticism, following serious irregularities identified in road traffic policing; involving issues around breath testing and speeding convictions.