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Garda Commissioner expected to be brought before PAC earlier than planned

Vice-chair of the PAC Alan Kelly said the commissioner should appear again in a couple of weeks.

Garda Commissioner Noírín O'Sullivan.
Garda Commissioner Noírín O'Sullivan.
Image: Sam Boal

THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Committee is expected to move forward Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan’s next appearance at the committee, vice-chairman Alan Kelly has said.

O’Sullivan was originally planned to appear before the committee on 13 July, but Kelly said he wants that date brought forward in light of a new dossier on the alleged misappropriation of funds at the Templemore Garda College given to the committee yesterday.

A 122 page document details how the Head of Human Resources for An Garda Síochána, John Barrett, raised concerns about the alleged misappropriation of millions of euro at the college.

O’Sullivan had initially told the PAC that she had found out about the cash controversy at Templemore during “a brief chat” with Barrett over a cup of tea, something he has denied.

Barrett told the PAC that he had taken extensive minutes of the meeting, which he said lasted over two hours.

90511038 Source: Rollingnews.ie

Kelly told TheJournal.ie that in light of the widespread contradictions he plans to bring forward the date at which the commissioner was due to appear before the PAC.

“I think it is necessary now that Noírín O’Sullivan and other witnesses come into the PAC sooner than the 13 July – in the next couple of weeks – and I will be discussing that with my colleagues tomorrow,” said Kelly.

“The level of contradictions throughout the meeting is something I have never witnessed before,” said the Tipperary TD.

 

 

“This issue can’t keep going on. We need to deal with the controversies around this, we need to deal with the issues around it – there are so many questions.”

The financial irregularities at the college include a fund that was used for gifts and entertainment, rent collected for a site that should have been paid to the Office of Public Works and the transfer of money to the Garda Boat Club.

O’Sullivan said the matter dates back 30 years and that she only became aware of them in 2015.

During Leaders’ Questions, the Taoiseach said he continues to have confidence in the Garda Commissioner.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin the financial irregularities at Templemore requires urgent action by the Government.

“You cannot wash this thing away, week after week – do you not get it,” Martin asked the Taoiseach this afternoon.

“This is stretching the credibility of the force to its very limit, and with it the Government’s as well,” he added.

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