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Garda association trustees dissatisfied over alleged 'lack of transparency' in financial issues

Four members of AGSI have resigned in recent weeks.

TRUSTEES OF THE Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) raised concerns over an alleged lack of transparency at the organisation. 

Similar concerns around governance led to some resignations in recent weeks. 

An addendum to the AGSI’s trustee report from October 2021 was submitted ahead of the body’s annual delegate conference which took place in Kerry this week. 

A trustees’ annual report is the narrative part of an organisation’s accounts. It contains information about how it is run; its activities and achievements; and helps to explain the numbers in the accounts.

The initial trustee report for the conference was completed at the start of October. 

The additional documentation added to the trustee report on 6 November, seen by The Journal, outlines how the trustees are ‘dissatisfied with the absence of any notes fully explaining all income and expenditure in the accounts’. However, the accounts were signed off on and approved by the organisation’s auditor and its members. 

The committee said it had discussed its reservations with the National Executive in relation to “certain financial issues and the lack of transparency and proper governance in relation to decisions made and the recording of same”.

However, they added: “The Trustees wish to acknowledge the difficult work undertaken by members of the National Executive, and acknowledge the fact that it can impose a huge burden in their personal time and can on occasion result in a financial loss to them.”

In a statement to The Journal, AGSI said: “The accounts of AGSI are in order and correct and have been signed off by our Auditor. They have been fully adopted by our delegates at Conference this week.”

Similar reservations about governance and transparency are cited in at least two resignation letters which were sent to the AGSI in the last month. One person who was stepping down demanded that an independent investigation be carried out.

Both resignation letters hint at how there have been significant issues within the AGSI for a number of years.

Asked about the issues raised by the two outgoing members, AGSI president Paul Curran said: “We are endeavouring to deal with these HR issues. But I’d ask people to understand, we are not in a position to comment on the specifics of any of the HR issues. We have to deal with them but we have to have confidentiality.”

When asked about the resignations and allegations surrounding ‘certain financial issues’ at the body, a spokesperson for the AGSI said: “All financial reports of the Association and reports of the auditor were fully agreed and adopted at our national conference in Killarney this week. In relation to your specific question on resignations, all I can say is people move on at various times from the National Executive for various reasons.” 

AGSI represents up to 2,500 sergeants and inspectors from An Garda Síochána.