Garda Ombudsman investigates negligence claims by ex-Isme chief

Tue, Dec 4, 2012, 00:00

The Garda Ombudsman is investigating two complaints of negligence against the Garda Síochána by a former chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme).

Frank Mulcahy, who was removed as chief executive of the association in 1998, alleges there has been ongoing negligence by gardaí in their conduct of investigations into an alleged fraud at the lobby group at that time.

He claims the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations has continually refused to address the matters he reported in relation to an investigation of the fraud of which he was accused when employed by Isme.

The bureau sent the report of its investigation to the DPP in 2010 without having taken statements from him or Don Curry, a former Isme chairman, he claims.

In 1999, Mr Curry was removed as chairman when the association reported the alleged fraud to the Garda.

Mr Mulcahy is alleging that by their negligence, “the gardaí have deprived him of his constitutional right to his good name and have failed to carry out an obligation imposed on them to protect and where damage has been caused to vindicate his good name as a citizen”, according to the allegations listed in a letter from the ombudsman.

In the letter, the ombudsman says he had been awaiting the conclusion of an earlier complaint by Mr Mulcahy before considering whether to admit his second complaint.

However, since the first complaint is ongoing after five years, the ombudsman has decided not to delay determining admissibility any further.

The ombudsman says “your complaint is essentially one of negligence and a failure to act in accordance with duty by Garda members”.

The ombudsman has requested Assistant Garda Commissioner AJ Nolan, who is already investigating the first complaint, to now investigate the second one as well.

According to the background compiled by the ombudsman, Mr Mulcahy says the association alleged he “fiddled his expenses, drew insurance cover not sanctioned and illegally changed the company’s 1996 accounts in relation to his bonus”.

He vehemently denies any wrongdoing in relation to the accounts and says the allegations were judged untrue when independently investigated.

Mr Mulcahy has been campaigning to clear his name for many years.