EU anti-fraud agency says Templemore funds investigation is closed

Agency investigated whether EU funds for Garda Training College were diverted

A file image showing  Garda recruits at the  Garda College in Templemore. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

A file image showing Garda recruits at the Garda College in Templemore. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

The EU’s anti-fraud agency Olaf has told the Dáil’s spending watchdog that its investigation into the use of European funds at the Garda Training College in Templemore is “currently closed”.

However, in a letter to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Olaf said it cannot provide information on the results of the investigation “so as not to prejudice any potential follow-up at national level”. 

Olaf began an investigation in 2017 amid allegations that EU funds may have been diverted to a bank account in Cabra and questions over what the money was used for. 

Earlier the same year, former Garda commissioner Noirín Ó’Sullivan told the PAC the so-called ‘Cabra account’ was being investigated or examined by a number of agencies including the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). 

The allegations date back to 1999. The account was open for 11 years and contained, at its peak, €90,000.

The letter from Olaf is to be discussed at a future meeting of the PAC.

The committee separately received a letter last month from Garda chief superintendent John Dollard.

Mr Dollard said the Garda had responded to an offer from Olaf to comment on the “summary of the facts concerning their investigation”. 

He told the PAC: “Our only comment was to ask Olaf not to publish the names of the persons involved, as to do so may prejudice any possible criminal prosecution.”

He added: “It is not known when they will publish their findings.

On the GSOC investigation, Mr Dollard said a Garda chief superintendent has been appointed to liaise with the the organisation.”

This is to ensure full and prompt co-operation with the GSOC inquiry which I understand is ongoing,” he added.

Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy said there are “very significant and important issues relating to financial procedures at the Garda College in Templemore.”

He suggested the PAC should seek an update from GSOC in its deliberations and agreed with chairman Brian Stanley that the committee should consider the letter from Olaf before deciding how to proceed.