Imagine Major Alleged Fraud, at the Garda College in Templemore, to Quote, Eamon Dunphy, This Country, is a Skip??? Rotten to the Core, by Golden Circles?

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Probe into the alleged misuse of funds at Garda college drags on

  4 hrs ago

A four and a half year investigation into the alleged misuse of funds at the Templemore Training College in Tipperary is still not completed, the garda watchdog has confirmed. The major probe, by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc ), was launched in June 2017.

Eight months ago, Gsoc chairwoman Justice Mary Ellen Ring updated the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the long-running investigation, saying it was “now at an advanced stage, with some final statements being arranged”, and it will be concluded “as rapidly as possible”.

Contacted last week, a spokeswoman for the watchdog confirmed the investigation was still not completed. “The Gsoc investigation into the use of EU funds at Templemore College is still ongoing. Gsoc has no further comment to make at this time,” she said.

A security source with links to the case described it as “completely unacceptable” the investigation has not been completed. “How much time do they need? Justice delayed is justice denied. There are very serious allegations made of funds misappropriated. All of the documentation has been handed over to them. This probe should be long finished. All of Gsoc’s serious investigations go on for years. It’s simply not good enough and the Government needs to start holding them to account.”

In April, Ms Ring told PAC the watchdog’s investigation into the administration of European funds at Templemore was hit by “unforeseen delays” caused by the pandemic.

She also raised the “challenge” posed by Gsoc’s overall workload, highlighting how the organisation has fewer than 40 investigators. The PAC had sought an update from Gsoc in its investigation into how EU funds for training purposes in relation to the Garda college in Templemore were administered.

The watchdoghas been investigating allegations that EU funds may have been diverted to a bank account in Dublin, the so-called “Cabra Account”, amid questions over what the money was used for. The allegations date back as far as 1999. The account was open for 11 years and contained, at its peak, €90,000.

The EU’s anti-fraud agency OLAF has also investigated the matter. OLAF previously told the PAC it could not provide information on the results of its investigation “so as not to prejudice any potential follow-up at national level”.

Ms Justice Ring said: “Gsoc’s investigation is a criminal investigation undertaken in the public interest,” and the organisation is “limited in what information it can release at this time, to avoid potentially prejudicing the criminal investigation”.

Ms Justice Ring said in April that while the investigation was “now at an advanced stage”, she could not provide a definitive date for when it will be finished.

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