Nóirín O’Sullivan blamed for Templemore failures

PAC report says commissioner failed to tell C&AG of financial issues immediately

A PAC report finds Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was aware of the “issues in the Garda college on or before July 2015”and should have informed the C&AG when first learning of the mismanagement at the college.  Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

A PAC report finds Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was aware of the “issues in the Garda college on or before July 2015”and should have informed the C&AG when first learning of the mismanagement at the college. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan failed in her duties as accounting officer of the force in relation to the financial irregularities exposed at Templemore Garda college, the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has said.

The committee is compiling a report into the financial issues uncovered at the Garda training college and the mismanagement of public monies there.

The Irish Times understands the committee has agreed on two key conclusions of its final report, which is due to be released next week.

It finds Ms O’Sullivan was aware of the “issues in the Garda college on or before July 2015”and should have informed the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) when first learning of the mismanagement at the college.

The committee is highly critical of the decision not to inform the C&AG’s office of the relevant information available to her.

The committee’s final report will go on to criticise Ms O’Sullivan’s failure to act on 15 of the 17 recommendations made by the internal audit unit on the issues at Templemore.

Questions

Ms O’Sullivan is due before the committee on Thursday but will not be in a position to answer questions on the Garda college.

She has insisted she first become aware of the issues at Templemore at a meeting held on July 27th, 2015. She said she provided financial accounts to the C&AG four days later but failed to notify his office of the information she had received.

Meanwhile, the committee has received fresh correspondence from the Garda’s head of internal audit, Niall Kelly.

In correspondence sent last week, Mr Kelly said his efforts to examine the accounts at St Raphael’s Credit Union in Templemore had been frustrated.

“Despite numerous requests I have not been able to fully access two accounts at St Raphael Credit Union in Templemore and I have not been able to access at least one other account held at St Raphael’s Credit Union, Naas Road, Fox and Geese, Dublin 22,” he said.

Internal audit

“There may be accounts unknown to internal audit at this point to which public funds have been lodged.”

But in a letter to the committee sent in recent days, Mr Kelly said he has since made progression relation to the two St Raphael’s accounts.

“I can now report that account statements have been provided for these accounts. I am still however awaiting access to at least one other St Raphael’s Account managed from Dublin.”

The committee’s report into Templemore is to be finalised on Thursday and is due for publication on Tuesday.