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Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Varadkar: Eight NCT staff sacked since Prime Time exposé

Leo Varadkar says three staff were sacked as a result of RTÉ’s show, while another five members have since been dismissed.

EIGHT STAFF at the country’s National Car Test centres have been sacked since a TV documentary exposed corruption within the testing service, with criminal investigations underway into their actions.

In response to a written Dáil question, Varadkar said eight staff had been sacked by Applus+, the private company responsible for carrying out the car tests, since the Prime Time Investigates documentary in May 2011.

That documentary had exposed how clearly unroadworthy cars had passed the car tests, after their ‘owners’ had left cash clearly visible in some parts of the vehicle for their inspectors to take.

Seven staff were suspended by Applus+ in the wake of that broadcast, with three of them sacked over their actions.

It has now emerged that a further five members of staff have been dismissed, according to Varadkar’s response to Sinn Féin’s Sean Crowe.

“The volume of internal and independent inspections of [National Car Testing Services] has been stepped up in the last few months,” the minister said, “including an increased number of focussed reviews based on risk factors and more targeted test re-inspections.”

Vardakar said criminal investigation was ongoing into the alleged fradulent activity, and that Applus+ was providing the necessary assistance.

“Overall there has been an increased focus on reducing the opportunity for fraud and improving the focus on specific investigations,” Varadkar said.

“The goal is to further reduce the potential for fraudulent activities or incorrect test results in the future.”

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