Hearing told no logical explanation for 'false journals' in accounts
An auditor has told a tribunal he was “appalled” when he realised a fellow accountant was involved in falsifying the accounts of the Irish Coursing Club.
The evidence was heard during an unfair dismissals claim by former company accountant Edmund O’Brien of Newmarket, Co Cork, against the club.
The Employment Appeals Tribunal heard allegations on Wednesday that Mr O’Brien was involved in a “cover-up” while employed by the Irish Coursing Club, allowing former club chief executive, the late Jerry Desmond, spend funds on “holidays and dining and wining”. This led to Mr O’Brien’s dismissal.
Yesterday, Ian Ronan of auditors Glavin and Ronan said his company was engaged by the Irish Coursing Club to audit their accounts in 2008.
They found that, for the 2008 accounts, a number of journal entries were made by Mr O’Brien to change the figures.
When the auditors removed the “false journals”, for which they could find “no logical explanation”, general expenses came to €124,083, of which flights and accommodation and entertainment accounted for €45,506. One example involved €70,000 being “removed” from the miscellaneous section and, of that, €36,000 being entered for “grants to [coursing] clubs”.
Mr O’Brien told the auditors the journal entries were made “for commercial reasons at the request of Jerry Desmond”.
Mr Ronan said he asked Mr O’Brien what the “commercial reasons” for changing the accounts were but got no answer.
He told the hearing the practices amounted to “false accounting, to write into the books and records of a company false information”.
Under cross-examination by solicitor Frank Nyhan, for Mr O’Brien, he said his company reported Mr O’Brien and Mr Desmond to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement but no action was taken against either.
The hearing has been adjourned until February 26th.