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Fine Gael got four TDs elected in Mayo in 2011 including the Taoiseach, John O'Mahony, Michael Ring and Michelle Mulherin.
Fine Gael got four TDs elected in Mayo in 2011 including the Taoiseach, John O'Mahony, Michael Ring and Michelle Mulherin.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Gardaí can't find person responsible for Fine Gael's accounts in a branch in Enda Kenny's constituency

The Standards in Public Office (SIPO) Commision says the matter remains with the gardaí.
Aug 8th 2014, 6:30 AM 18,772 32

GARDAÍ ARE UNABLE to locate the person responsible for the accounts of one of the Fine Gael branches in the Taoiseach’s constituency of Mayo.

The political ethics watchdog, the Standards in Public Office (SIPO) Commision, continues to have problems supervising accounting units in political parties according to its annual report for 2013.

The report shows that there were two outstanding accounting returns for 2013 and a 2012 case relating to the Taoiseach’s own constituency is still with gardaí.

Files relating to the Fine Gael branch in Partry in Mayo were passed to gardaí in 2012, but investigating officers haven’t been able to locate the person responsible for the accounts in the Partray branch.

The report says:

The situation in relation to the Fine Gael Partry, Mayo, accounting unit is still with the Gardaí. It is a matter of regret that accounting units continue to fail to cooperate with the Commission and only comply with their statutory obligations subsequent to the matter being referred to the DPP/Gardaí.

It is understood that the person responsible for the filing of accounts has left the country, but there are conflicting accounts of their whereabouts.

A Fine Gael spokesperson said the party would not be commenting as the matter is being investigated by gardaí.

The report also says two 2013 returns were outstanding at the time of writing – the Fine Gael branch in Clane and the Fianna Fáil branch in Dún Laoghaire. However, both returns have since been filed.

On 22 May 2013, SIPO referred seven branches to the DPP and gardaí, but, aside from Fine Gael in Mayo, six returned their files within a week.

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The report shows that a large number of accounting units – 68 of 168 – didn’t return their accounts for 2013 until after the deadline.

Many filed only after a threat from SIPO and others then only when the matter was referred to the gardaí.

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One source described the wrangling of accounts from branches as “worse than dealing with schoolchildren”.

Often, the DPP will not prosecute if accounts are filed late, even though an offence has been committed.

Read: Why did the political ethics watchdog get 427 complaints in 2012, but just 29 last year?

Read: Did Alan Shatter really cheat death at Dublin Airport?

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Paul Hosford

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