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EU fraud watchdog set to

probe mystery Garda


bank account
Investigation would mark an escalation of
the controversy over training college
finances

1 Cormac McQuinn
June 22 2017
Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan and Deputy Commissioner
John Twomey arriving at the Public Accounts Committee. Photo:
Tom Burke
European Union watchdog OLAF is poised to probe the suspected fraudulent
use of EU funds provided to garda which ended up in a mysterious Dublin
bank account.

A full-scale investigation by the agency - which probes allegations of fraud


against the EU budget - would mark a further escalation in the controversy
over finances at the Garda Training College at Templemore.

It is understood that the suspected fraud involves EU funds, which were


supposed to be used for Garda training purposes, being transferred to a bank
account in Cabra, Dublin, from the training college in Templemore.
Last night OLAF confirmed it was aware of the matter. A statement said that
specialised experts evaluate incoming information of potential investigative
interest according to standard procedures.

They decide if there is "sufficient suspicion of fraud, corruption or any illegal


activity affecting the EU's financial interests for OLAF to open a case" and if
the information falls within the agency's investigative priorities.

The statement said that after this initial assessment, OLAF will decide
whether or not to open an investigation.

It said the assessment "does not mean that the individuals are guilty of any
wrongdoing" and that "OLAF fully respects the presumption of innocence".

"At this stage, OLAF will not issue further comments," the statement said.

Garda Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan referred the suspected fraud to


domestic watchdog, the Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) on
Monday night.

She told the Dil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) she did this after the
head of the Garda internal audit unit, Niall Kelly, provided her with a report
on the matter that day.

She said Mr Kelly reported he has "reasonable cause to suspect that


potentially there may be criminal activity, fraudulent activity, on the [Cabra]
account".
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During her appearance at the PAC - which is examining financial irregularities
at the training college - Ms O'Sullivan also told TDs that Mr Kelly informed
OLAF about the issue.

Ms O'Sullivan refused to name a former senior garda who was the most recent
signatory of the bank account, saying there has to be "due process and fairness
to individuals".

Read More: O'Sullivan faces renewed calls to go over college


finances furore

She indicated that the account had different signatories over the years it was
in existence - 1999 to 2010 - and the most recent is "a retired senior officer".
Ms O'Sullivan told TDs that the account was open between 1999 and 2010 and
it contained 90,000 at its height. She rejected suggestions it was
"convenient" that she couldn't answer some questions due to the matter being
referred to GSOC, saying that "under no circumstances" was this done to
"keep it from public view".

Meanwhile, the force last night refused to answer any questions about a 2010
email written by its finance boss Michael Culhane to the Department of
Justice.
In the email, Mr Culhane appears to suggest that he indicated that
Templemore Training College had "charitable status" in a letter to Revenue in
order to "muddy things up".

Fianna Fil TD Marc MacSharry revealed the email during the PAC's meeting
on Tuesday and said it was "particularly troubling".

The Irish Independent asked for a statement from Mr Culhane or the Garda
seeking clarification on what was meant by the "muddy things up" remark.

A Garda spokesman said: "An Garda Sochna is not commenting on any


matters that may be before (the) PAC."

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said it would be "inappropriate to


offer any comment at this stage", pointing out that there is an ongoing process
at the PAC which will "deliver its report in due course".

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/eu-fraud-watchdog-set-to-
probe-mystery-garda-bank-account-35853833.html

O'Sullivan faces renewed calls to


go over college finances furore
1 Cormac McQuinn
June 22 2017
Sinn Fins Mary Lou McDonald.
Garda Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan has faced renewed demands for her to
go - as she remains mired in a series of Garda controversies including the
latest furore over finances at the Templemore Training College.

While Taoiseach Leo Varadkar restated his own confidence in Ms O'Sullivan,


insisting she is "fighting many battles on many fronts in an effort to put things
right", three members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have said she
should resign or be removed from office.

Fianna Fil TD Marc MacSharry last night said that it is "essential" that public
confidence in the Garda is restored and that "without prejudice to ongoing
investigations" the Taoiseach "must step in now and have Cabinet replace the
Commissioner".

Labour TD Alan Kelly said he doesn't believe Ms O'Sullivan has the confidence
of the Dil and added: "The Garda Commissioner should resign, and if she
doesn't resign the Government should remove her."

Sinn Fin TD Mary Lou McDonald argued in the Dil that public confidence in
Ms O'Sullivan is "in tatters".
She also claimed Ms O'Sullivan "misled" the Comptroller and Auditor General
(C&AG) by providing an assurance about the integrity of Garda finances in a
letter sent on July 31, 2015, days after she says she first learned of issues about
the finances at Templemore.

At the PAC, Ms O'Sullivan said at the time she wanted more information on
the "complex" issues involved but that if she "knew then what I know now"
she would have contacted the C&AG about the college at that point.

Ms McDonald claimed that Ms O'Sullivan's position is "untenable" and told


Mr Varadkar: "You have to ensure that the Commissioner goes."

Mr Varadkar said the Government had confidence in Ms O'Sullivan and that


"most, if not all, of the problems that beset the Garda predate her becoming
Garda Commissioner".

He conceded that public trust has been "strained" due to revelations about the
Garda in recent times.

Mr Varadkar said the Government has a duty to restore this trust - adding that
the best way to do that is "a thorough investigation of all the allegations that
have been made".
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The Taoiseach said Ms McDonald was contending that various ongoing
investigations, including the Charleton Tribunal examining the treatment of
Garda whistleblowers, should be bypassed with a "rush to judgment". He said:
"I don't believe in summary justice or kangaroo courts."

Earlier, Ms McDonald defended her PAC questioning of Ms O'Sullivan's


"clout" in the context of being the first female Garda commissioner.

She told RT it was a "legitimate question" to determine if there was "a sense
of sexism" in Garda culture that "might impede her carrying out her tasks".

Ms O'Sullivan said: "I've never defined myself by my gender. I'm a


professional police officer and I'm very proud of that fact."

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/osullivan-faces-renewed-calls-
to-go-over-college-finances-furore-35853832.html

Taoiseach thrown in at
the deep end as he heads
to Brussels

1
Today Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will meet with the President of the
EU Council, Donald Tusk, and Commission President Jean-Claude
Juncker

John Downing
June 22 2017

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be advised to pack several changes of shirt, and
keep a good supply of coffee close by, as he attends his first EU leaders
summit in Brussels today.

The EU capital is sweltering in a heatwave with temperatures in the mid-30s.


And Mr Varadkar faces a series of meetings likely to continue into the early
hours of tomorrow.

Todays proceedings will be divided into two sessions. The first beginning just
after lunch will include Britain and all the other EU states.

Tonight at 10.30pm, the remaining 27 EU member states, without Britain, will


begin their own deliberations.
Like his predecessor Enda Kenny, the new Taoiseach is being thrown in at the
deep end of the EU pool just days after his appointment. He must set down a
strong marker about Irelands unique interests as 22 months of tough Brexit
negotiations have just begun.

But the two days of talks in Brussels will offer Mr Varadkar an opportunity to
change the agenda away from the damaging controversy about the
appointment of the former Attorney General to be a judge at the Court of
Appeal.

Today the Taoiseach will meet with the President of the EU Council, Donald
Tusk, and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Tomorrow he will sit
down to a private meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The new French president, Emmanuel Macron, will also be attending his first
EU leaders summit since his election last month. Officials expect Mr
Varadkar will also have an opportunity to speak with Mr Macron.

Irish officials said the Taoiseach will report from his meeting in London with
British Prime Minister Theresa May. He will again reiterate Irelands policy of
remaining at the heart of the EU, in spite of the departure of the countrys
biggest trading partner. Mr Varadkar (inset) is expected to thank the other EU
member states for giving priority to Irelands case regarding Brexit. But he
will stress Irelands keen interest in moving the Brexit talks to dealing with the
future EU-UK relationship as quickly as possible. EU officials are insistent this
cannot happen until the separation terms, especially UK contributions of up to
100bn, are seriously advanced.

EU officials were last night assessing the programme outlined by Mrs May in
the Westminster parliament. The Queens Speech included eight separate
pieces of legislation related to Brexit and is obviously aimed at clearing the
way for Britains eventual departure from the EU in March 2019. Unhappily
for Ireland, this speech had all the hallmarks of committing to a so-called
hard Brexit.

Mrs May will try to pass a large suite of bills returning powers to London on
topics like trade, customs and immigration. The British government also plans
to pass legislation on agriculture and fisheries.
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It will, as signalled by Mrs May last autumn, push ahead with a Repeal Bill.
The name is more than a little misleading because it will effectively transfer
EU law onto the UK statute book, a move that will ensure continuity and avoid
a legal vacuum.

The speech and what follows is also a critical test of Mrs Mays authority,
which is seriously impaired after the general election. There is every chance
she may not get enough votes in the House of Commons to support the broad
thrust of her programme.

In that event, her government will almost certainly fall. Mrs May has resolved
to work with humility and resolve to see Brexit through.
Her weakened position does not help ensure a smooth negotiation process.
More optimistically, Brussels diplomats stress avoiding a hard Border
between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains the key challenge for
Brexit negotiations. Brussels diplomats are speculating Mrs May could offer a
post-Brexit deal guaranteeing rights of EU nationals in Britain.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-thrown-in-at-the-
deep-end-as-he-heads-to-brussels-35853909.html

Sorry saga is risking


Garda's good name

1Editorial
June 21 2017

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan


If all that was required of a Garda Commissioner was to have a titanium neck,
and steely self-confidence, Nirn O'Sullivan's tenure would be timeless. But
chutzpah and bombast can only account for so much. The crisis enveloping
the Garda is unprecedented. To arrive at a point where the fraud squad has
been called upon to investigate potential chicanery at the very centre of Garda
training, the forge where young recruits are tempered in the ethos of the force,
is a scandal too far.

The revelation that EU money may also have been siphoned off adds to the
urgency of getting some straight answers. Ms O'Sullivan has visited the Public
Accounts Committee too often for us to know so little. Yesterday she had the
nonchalance of someone attending a summer barbecue yet found herself
turning on the spit, as the heat and temperature of the questions rose.

The Commissioner was first appraised of these grave allegations in


Templemore in 2015. An interim report detailed serious financial
irregularities and said that there was evidence that money was being spent on
gifts and entertainment, even identifying a large number of bank accounts.
There was enough acrid smoke here to suggest an emergency response,
instead Ms O'Sullivan said these were largely legacy matters dating back 30
years. Not good enough.

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/sorry-saga-is-risking-gardas-
good-name-35849672.html

A Templemore Timeline

June 20, 2017

Clockwise from bottom left: Chief Financial Officer Michael


Culhane; Deputy Commissioner Dnall Cualin; Chief
Superintendent Anne Marie McMahon; Garda Commissioner
Noirin OSullivan; form Chief Administration Officer Cyril Dunne;

Executive Director of Human Resources and People


Development John Barrett and Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly

This morning, Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan returns to the the


Public Accounts Committee to field more questions about the Garda
College.

You may recall reports of complex financial irregularities


amid Byzantine-like accounting practices at the college in Templemore,
Co Tipperary.
These irregularities concern matters of accounting and commercial
practice, land ownership, the existence of unapproved bank and
investment accounts, potential taxation and pension liability.

Plus questionable employment arrangements contrary to regulation, the


collection of rental income from lands owned by the OPW, revenue
generated in the Garda College ending up in more than 40 bank
accounts and surplus funds some of which should have been
returned to the State being used to purchase assets or put into private
bank or credit union accounts or private Garda sporting facilities
instead.

At its peak, a total sum of 2.3million in cash was held in various


accounts, while questions remain over whether the Garda College is tax
compliant.

Concerns about these financial irregularities were first reported by John


Mooney, of The Sunday Times, in January of this year.

The Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan went on RTs Today with


Sen ORourke, the following day, to say these matters were legacy
issues.

Since then, an interim audit report about these irregularities was


completed by the head of internal audit at An Garda Siochana Niall
Kelly.

This audit report was given to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in
March. Mr Kelly was asked to examine the Garda College after
concerns were raised by John Barrett, head of HR, in the summer of
2015.

The Garda College has since been the subject of three PAC meetings
on May 4, May 31 and June 14.

Contrary to the matters being solely legacy issues, as Garda


Commissioner Noirin OSullivan, who became Garda Commissioner in
2014, maintained, Mr Kelly told one of these PAC meetings:

I was asking questions in 2008 and 2009 but I was not


getting answers. In March 2011, in relation to the 2010 accounts, I
got assurances that issues were being addressed. What happened in
2011 was that effectively the college closed and there was very little
activity. Between 2011 and 2014, if I had gone to audit I probably
would not have found anything because effectively we were doing
nothing. In 2014-2015 these issues started arising again. In
2016, we were brought in to do the audit.

Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan appointed former head of bureau


at National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), based at Harcourt
Street, Dublin, Assistant Garda Commissioner John ODriscoll to
conduct a review of Niall Kellys audit report into the financial
irregularities.

Assistant Commissioner ODriscoll will make recommendations to Ms


OSullivan on whether any laws have been broken.

On Sunday, John Mooney, in The Sunday Times, reported that, last


month, Niall Kellys team at Garda Internal Audit Section (GIAS)
found large sums of public money were routed to secret credit union
and bank accounts in Dublin, opened and controlled by gardai.

Mr Mooney reported:

One source described what had been uncovered as a highly organised


scheme to divert funds away from the training college over a
protracted period of time. The amount of money identified so far
is about 100,000. The audit team has taken possession of cheques,
stubs and records which show payments being made to individual
gardai from the accounts.

The investigation is examining the transfer of funds to a


current account opened at the AIB Cabra branch in Dublin.
An investigation has discovered that some payments initially lodged
into the AIB account were subsequently transferred to an account
opened at Saint Raphaels garda credit union.

Mr Mooney further reported that Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan


was briefed about this last Friday and was expected to get a written
report on the matter yesterday.

In addition, on Saturday, Sarah Bardon, in The Irish


Times, reported that the use of EU funds at the Garda College has
come to the attention of the European Court of Auditors and it is now
analysing information that it has received on the matter.

In addition, Broadsheet understands that yesterday Mr Niall Kelly sent a


letter to the chairman of Public Accounts Committee Sean Fleming to
inform him that he has sent a Draft Report on EU Funded Programmes
and Projects to the Garda Commissioner.

In it Mr Kelly says:

I should also inform you that I have forward that I have


forwardled the draft report to Deputy Commissioner
Policing and Security having taken legal advice from Mr
Ruane (Head of Legal Affairs) and considering my
obligations as an auditor to report any suspicion that
fraudulent activity may have occurred, to An Garda Siochana as
set out in section 59 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences
Act) 2001.

The following is a is a four-decade timeline of events pertaining to the


Garda Colleges finances:

August 12, 1977: A letter from the Revenue Commissioners confirms


that the Garda Mess Committee is exempt from VAT. The Garda Mess
Committee subsequently becomes the Garda Restaurant.

1981: Noirin OSullivan attends the Garda College for six months as a
recruit.

1988: A review of Garda training and education, called the Walsh


Report, recommends that the Garda College be upgraded to third-level
status. For this to happen, facilities such as sports facilities need to be
provided. A scheme is set up to provide funding for these facilities. It
involves:

A weekly grant/fee for food and lodgings, including laundry, for each
student. It is 77.92 per student per week.

The Garda College Restaurant and Shop are set up as committees


separate from the standard Garda College financial controls. They are
not set up as companies. Accumulated funds made by the restaurant
and shop are transferred to Sportsfield Company Ltd or invested in
various investment accounts opened periodically by the Garda College.

1993: The Sportsfield Company Ltd is set up to develop sports facilities.


All four directors are serving gardai. Gardai need the permission of the
Minister for Justice in order to become a director of a company.

The Department of Justice, including the then Head of Internal Audit in


the department, is consulted in relation to these arrangements, while
the secretary general of the Department of Justice is the accounting
officer for the Garda Vote until July 2006 when the Garda
Commissioner of the day becomes the accounting officer.

2000: Michael Culhane joins An Garda Siochana and is the director of


finance.

May, 10, 2000 February 10, 2003: Four separate payments, totalling
100,000 in all, are transferred from the Garda College Sportsfield
Company Ltd to the Garda Boat Club a private sports club whose
members and managers comprise mainly of serving and retired gardai
and their families. The 100,000 is the largest transfer to a sports club
from the Sportsfield account.

During this period, the then Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and


Resource Management TP Fitzgerald is also the president of the
Garda Siochana Boat Club.

Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly later says in his internal audit report
that Mr Fitzgerald told him:

The assistance given by the Garda College to the Boat Club


was given for the right reason.

In addition, executive director of human resources and people


development John Barrett would later write, in minutes of a June 2,
2016 meeting he held with chairman of the Garda Audit Committee
Michael Howard in relation to these payments to the Garda Boat Club:

I believe that it may be worthwhile reviewing the background


to this and the career interconnectedness of the parties
involved in this and perhaps other transactions. A full review of
the career progression and service interrelatedness of those
who were aware of or exerted influence or authority over the
college, the bank accounts, investment and expenditure from
the Garda College accounts is to be recommended.

2000s: Following her promotion to the rank of superintendent, Noirin


OSullivan spends time in the Garda College in charge of specialist
training detective, firearms and other specialist training.

2005: Under the Garda Siochana Act 2005 and in an apparent move
towards financial accountability and transparency the
Accounting Officer of the Garda College becomes the Garda
Commissioner of the day. Until 2005, it had been the responsibility of
the Secretary General of the Department of Justice.
In addition, land and buildings in the entire estate of An Garda
Siochana become the responsibility of the Office of Public Works
(OPW) and the Gardai Commissioner is now precluded from
owning land.

The Audit Committee is also established under the Garda Siochana


Act 2005.

2005-2008: Superintendent Pat McCabe is the administrator of the


restaurant. His predecessor is Yvonne OConnor.

2006: Concerns are first expressed about finances in the Garda College
in an incomplete and unfinished audit conducted by the Garda Internal
Audit Section (GIAS), a year before GIAS is restructured. It is not known
who wrote this report.

June 2007: Niall Kelly starts working as Head of Internal Audit at


An Garda Siochana. He reports to Deputy Commissioner TP Fitzgerald
for two years. (From2009 to 2014, Mr Kelly reports to Deputy
Commissioner Nacie Rice and, now, Mr Kelly reports to Deputy
Commissioner Donal Cualin).

Before 2007, Mr Kelly worked as head of internal audit in the


Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. When
he started at AGS, there was an internal audit in place. This was staffed
by uniformed gardai who did not have the requisite professional
experience. Mr Kelly restructured this.

September 13, 2007: A report on Garda Management and Leadership


Development by an advisory group, chaired by former senator and
member of the Patten Commission Maurice Hayes, is published. The
Irish Times reports:

A new report on Garda management has recommended that


the force be run like a private corporation, led by a partly
civilianised board of management, with fast track
promotion for bright, young garda and personal coaches for
senior officers who become lonely in management roles.

December 14, 2007: A letter is sent from Revenue confirming that VAT
registration has been cancelled on the Garda Siochana Golf and
Leisure Club.

March 2008: An on-site examination and shadow report of the Garda


College is called for by the Chief Administration Officer John Leamy.
Between March 10 and March 25, Barry McGee, from the Office of the
Executive Director of Finance, finalises the examination, resulting in
a 53-page report. The report, which is known as the McGee report, is
overseen by executive director Michael Culhane.

Mr McGee obtains documents concerning accounts for 2007 which


are signed by Superintendent Patrick McCabe, the College
Administrator. Mr McGee doesnt become aware of the unfinished
2006 report until 2017.

Supt McCabe is also listed as one of the directors of the Garda


College Sportsfield Company Ltd in 2006 and 2005.

The McGee report uncovers discrepancies in compliance to public


financial procedures and urges the issues to be addressed
immediately.

It outlines how there are a number of organisations and subcommittees


controlled by appointed officers from Templemore College. They are:

Garda College Restaurant


Garda College Shop
Garda Sportsfield Company Ltd
Garda College Sports and Social Club
Garda College Golf and Leisure Club

In addition to that, the college administration section administers four


accounts:

College Imprest Account


Library Imprest Account
EU Funded Course Bank Account
Laundry A/C

There are also organisations external to Templemore which are also


funded externally but recieve payments or money transfers from
organisations controlled by the college administration:

Welfare (society whereby deductions are made from salary and


students allowances to fund miscellaneous activities such as
presentations, etc)
Coiste Roinne
GAA A/C
Boat Club
The report says the Garda College Restaurant, Shop, Sportsfield
Company Ltd, Sports and Social Club, Golf and Leisure Club and
Laundry Account have been operating outside governmental
accounting regulations and public financial procedures.

And there also may be legal implications and governance issues


associated with employees of An Garda Siochana being appointed
as directors to the Garda Sportsfield Company Ltd. A restructuring
process needs to be initiated in respect of the college.

The McGee report also says: The high number of organisations,


subcommittees and bank accounts makes it difficult to maintain proper
internal controls and to ascertain the legal nature of these
organisations.

The College Restaurant

The McGee report finds the main source of income for the College
Restaurant is the Department of Justice, in the form of weekly
allowances 71.42 per student, per week for those boarding at the
college. Its paid directly into the College Restaurant bank account
and is a charge to the Garda Vote (Garda expenditure voted, and
agreed to, every year by the Dil).

The College Restaurant also receives money from the cash


register when visitors pay for meals or when the restaurant is used for
events.

The Welfare Account also makes a payment to the College Restaurant


in respect of a groundsman who is employed by the Sportsfield
Company to maintain the grounds.

And it receives money in relation to entertainment and


contributions to Executive Leadership Programmes. These
payments are approved by an authorising officer who is also the
administrator of the College Restaurant.

The College Restaurants main expense is paying suppliers and payroll


while, the McGee report notes, that the level of expenditure for meals
and entertainment in 2007 was notably high at 22,753.

The McGee report notes:

There are financial control and governance issues associated with this
process, as there are no segregation of duties involved and no
sanction is sought from the Finance Directorate in relation
to these payments.

As of December 31, 2007, the accumulated surplus of the College


Restaurant is 2,106,708, while investments held by the College
Restaurant are valued at 1,385,789.

It also has a cash reserve of 555,892 500,000 of which was


invested in St Raphaels Credit Union on May 2, 2007.

As of January 9, 2008, the interest and dividends made on this account


is 7,397.25.

St Raphaels Credit Union sponsors the Garda College GAA Club


in a deal worth 40,000. A write down/loss is incorporated into the
accounts for 52,312 for the reduction in the valuation of the
investments. There is also a loan of 15,000 to the GAA club disclosed
under sundry debtors.

According to the St Raphael Credit Unions 2016 annual report,


most of its directors are current or retired garda, some of whom
work with the NBCI.

The McGee report also notes that source documents, such as invoices,
pre-2007, are not archived or kept, therefore breaching the seven-
year rule of maintaining source documentation.

It also says theres no evidence that minutes were kept when


decisions were made in relation to the profits of the College
Restaurant such as opening investment funds and sending
profits to the Garda Boat Club, GAA Club or Sportsfield Company,
etc.

The McGee report adds:

The College Restaurant is being used as a financing body as


a source of funds to procure or develop certain aspects of the
operations of the Garda College. This is not in adherence to
correct public financial practice as it means major projects
or expenditure can be processed without obtaining Finance
Sanction or input from the Finance Directorate of An Garda
Siochana.

This also causes problems for asset management in An Garda


Siochana when assets are being acquired or being developed using
transfers from the surplus generated from the College Restaurant. The
examination has unveiled significant instance of this type of
occurrence.

The administrator of the Restaurant who signs the


Restaurants audited financial statements is also a director
of Sportsfield Ltd company. There are segregation of duties
associated with the practice of transferring funds from the Restaurant
account to the Sportsfield Company.

College Shop

According to the McGee report, the main income of shop is the sale of
goods to students. There are also cheques from the college
administration account receipted by the College Shop. The main
expenditure of the Shop is stock and payroll.

However, in 2007, there was an entertainment expense of 4,567


debited from the College Shop account, while the wages bill
increased 131% from 2006 to 2007.

This is due to staff from the restaurant working at the shop. One
person who works at the shop is an employee of the Department of
Justice.

The McGee report notes:

Again it is difficult to ascertain the legal status of the


shop The administrator signing the annual audited
financial statements is a member of management from the
college at superintendent rank. This complicates the issues of the
entities legal status further.

Like the restaurant, source records from the shop, such as


invoices, are not kept pre-2006 breaching the seven-year rule of
maintaining source documents. And there are no records of minutes
detailing the decision-making process for the financial management
of the shop.

In addition, the administrator for the shop is the same as for the
restaurant who is at the rank of superintendent.

Garda Sportsfield Company Ltd

Sportsfield Company was set up in 1992 and used to develop assets for
the college. It acquired land worth 48,188 and then went on to develop
various sporting facilities.
The McGee report says:

The method of setting up a company to develop such


facilities means that the ability to apply governmental
financial practice is negated. It also took the centralised
control from An Garda Siochana Finance Directorate and
transferred it locally to the appointed directors of the Garda
Sportsfield Company Ltd.

There is no evidence of sanction obtained to set up the


companyand there are potential negative issues to members
from the administration section of the Garda College
becoming directors and the regulations and legal obligations that is
inferred on directors under the relevant companies acts.

The monies used to acquire and develop the Sportsfield


assets were obtained through transferring monies from the
College Restaurant Treasury account. The decision to
transfer such monies would have been sanctioned by
management who are acting as administrators for the
College Restaurant and also are acting as directors of the
Garda Sportsfield Company Ltd.

This is definitely a breach in the financial control


environment and writes off the ability for An Garda Siochana to
manage, control and appropriate effectively monies which are voted
through Oireachtas.

Money from the College Restaurant is not only used to develop the
Sportsfield asset base, its also used in the day-to-day operation of
Garda Sportsfield Ltd.

McGee says:

The accumulated appropriation of these funds is disclosed in the


Garda Sportsfield Ltd accounts as being grant/capital. For 2006, the
figure represented in the accounts as grants under accruals
and deferred income amounts to 1,546,639. From discussions
with the appointed accountant, a letter signing off that this amount of
money is non-repayable is obtained from the college. No
corresponding figure is displayed in the College Restaurant
accounts to disclose the accumulated distributions from the
College Restaurant to the College Sportsfield Ltd.

I also draw attention to the appropriations of profits made from the


Garda Sportsfield Company Ltd, from discussion with the accountant,
these are payments made outside the remit or normal expenditure of
running the company. For example, in 2006, two payments were
made which are classified as appropriations, these were
payments of 2,940 to Murphys Pub in respect of some
function and a payment of 596.80 to ODonohoes in
relation to the hire of a marquee.

Garda College Golf and Leisure Club

In 1997, directors of the Garda College decided to establish the


Garda College Golf and Leisure Club to develop sports, social and
recreational facilities on the lands at Manna South.

Sportsfield used money from the College Restaurant (mainly) to develop


assets of the Golf and Leisure Club. Golf and Leisure Club ceased
trading in 2006 as it was losing money.

There are no accounting transfer journals or adjustments to disclose the


transfer of assets from Sportsfield to the Golf and Leisure Club.

At the time of the McGee report, a local committee is running the


club and charged yearly rent of 12,600. The rent is 18 months in
arrears.

There is a 2002 Revenue bill of 118,598.61 because an invalid


VAT claim was made on behalf of the Golf and Leisure Club even
though the contract for developing the assets was procured and
transacted through the Garda Sportsfield Company Ltd.

The McGee report states:

The decision-making process of developing and opening a


golf course is not well documented. The monies to develop the
Club were obtained through the College Restaurant, again there is a
breach of financial regulatory practice because the
administrator of the College Restaurant is also a director of
the Sportsfield Company Ltd and an administrator of the
Garda College Golf and Leisure Club.

Laundry Account

The McGee report finds:

Our examination unveiled malpractice in the administration of


the Laundry Account. Certain payment which could be deemed
disallowable under normal circumstances have been processed
through this account.
Such payments include:

Payments of loans to staff


Certain bonuses
Funding of entertainment expenses
Donations
Sporting expenses

McGee also finds:

There is a lack of financial control being applied to the


administration of the Laundry A/C.

There are also receipts being lodged to the Laundry Account


in respect of certain courses such as AGIS and CEPOL. These
are to cover accommodation costs for the delegates involved
in the courses. It is difficult to ascertain the reason why these
charges are being allocated and lodged to the Laundry AC.

In certain instances, these payments have been paid to the


College Restaurant initially and then paid subsequently to
the Laundry AC. The financial regulatory practices governing this
account are poor.

Once monies are lodged to this account, the controls placed


on the authorising process of expenditure through this
account are lax.

Garda Sports and Leisure Club

The McGee report finds:

There are issues pertaining to the granting of loans from he


Garda Restaurant and the Garda Shop to the Garda Sports
and Leisure Club. This club registered for VAT and returned are
made in respect of the Club to the Revenue Commissioners by the
appointed accountant.

Welfare Account

This is a social club account used for certain miscellaneous


activities but it is funded through an allocation from allowances and
salaries of staff and students, including payments (1.27 per student
per week) made through the College Restaurant. These payments are
automatically calculated and paid without permission sought from
individual students.
GAA Club, Coiste Roinne and Boat Club

McGee report finds:

Appropriations from the receipts of the Garda College,


Garda Shop and Laundry AC have been credited to the bank
accounts of the above organisation. This practice needs to be
curtailed. There may be conflict of interest issues associated with
these type of transactions.

The McGee report goes on to make 12 recommendations but only two


are eventually implemented.

And of six points later agreed in correspondence between the then


Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and the chief administrative
officer John Leamy, none was implemented.

April 2008: The McGee report is finished. Many of its concerns will
be identified again in a report by Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly
some nine years later, in 2017.

April 25, 2008: In a note to the then Garda Commissioner Fachtna


Murphy, the then Chief Administrative Officer John Leamy advises that
the Audit Committee within An Garda Siochana be informed of the
McGee report.

But the McGee report is not given to the GIAS (Garda Internal Audit
Section) and, according to Niall Kelly, in his 2017 report, was only
discovered as part of this [interim 2017] audit in June 2016.

In addition, there is no record of any such briefing in the minutes of the


Audit Committees June 2008 meeting or any subsequent meeting.

Mr Leamy also advises that the Director of Finance Michael Culhane be


authorised to conduct a full and comprehensive audit of all the financial
activities in the college.

But GIAS is not told about the proposed audit.

Mr Leamy also advises that, after Mr Culhanes report is done, the


Comptroller & Auditor General be informed. However, there is no
evidence that this ever happened.

May 8, 2008: Commissioner Fachtna Murphy responds to CAO John


Leamy and agrees with all his points.
May 25, 2008: Executive Director of Finance and Services Michael
Culhane writes to the Chief Administration Officer John Leamy,
recommending that the report be forwarded to the Secretary General of
the Department of Justice and the Comptroller and Auditor General.

This did not happen and Mr Culhane did not follow up on this.

2008-2012: Superintendent Sarah Myler is administrator of the Garda


College Restaurant. Supt Myler later becomes a director of Sportsfield
Company Ltd.

October 2008 April 2009: Noirin OSullivan, now Assistant


Commissioner, is involved in the area of human resources at the Garda
College.

2008-2009: Efforts made by the head of internal audit Niall Kelly, to get
a copy of the Barry McGee report are unsuccessful.

September 18, 2009: Deputy Commissioner Nacie Rice who is in


charge of the Garda College at this point writes a note to the Garda
Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and says:

I strongly believe that any surplus money does not belong to


the State but rather is owned by the members of An Garda
Siochanafrom whom they were collected and I equally hold that any
money cannot be used, except for the welfare and development of the
facilities for members at An Garda Siochana.

Niall Kelly tells a meeting of the PAC, on May 31, 2017, that Deputy
Commissioner Nacie Rice did not seek his advice before sending this
note to the Garda Commissioner and that, if Deputy Commissioner Rice
had, Mr Kelly would have told him that this was contrary to section
C5.19 of the Public Financial Procedures which, under the heading
Exchequer Extra Receipts says:

These are receipts that the Department of Finance directs


must be credited directly to the Exchequer and cannot be
retained by Departments for their own use.

2009: Michael Culhane, who was previously Director of Finance, is


promoted to Chief Financial Officer. He laters tells a meeting of the
PAC, on May 31, 2017, that, in 2009, he wrote to the Revenue
Commissioners seeking charitable status for the Sportsfield
Company Ltd.
March 3, 2010: Chief Superintendent Jack Nolan (Director of Training
and Development) responds to the McGee report.

He says:

I was heartened to see that the financial audit concluded by Mr B


McGee, Office of the Executive Director of Finance did not suggest any
misappropriation of funds by anyone at the Garda College.

He reports that 13 bank accounts, out of an original 29 accounts,


are now closed; a new college administrator is established at
superintendent rank (Supt Sarah Meyler); and new processes have
been put in place.

In a list of restructured accounts, Mr Nolan reports that there is a total


balance of 1,407,346.03 across four CEPOL accounts.

2010 end of 2013: Garda College effectively closes down.

April 1, 2010: A letter from Revenue confirms tax exemption for the
Garda College Sportsfield Co Ltd on the basis of it being for the
sole purpose of promoting athletic or amateur game or sport.

April 15, 2010: Chief Administration Officer John Leamy sends a letter
to Michael Culhane saying:

Thanks Michael. I had a meeting yesterday with Niall Kelly on


a couple of IA [internal audit] reports and issues. He again raised
the issue of the Garda College Finance Reports. After a lot of
tooing and frooing he agreed holding off completing the
college IA report for a period of 3 months. I reckon that is
enough time for us to sort out the taxation and any other
financial issues and get a final report to the Commissioner. Will you
work to that deadline and get all the outstanding issues resolved, say
end of July? Thanks, John.

2009-2013: Rents collected for the rental of Dromard Farm amount


to 124,903and this money is lodged to the College Restaurant
account.

This rent was collected even though the Office of Public Works (OPW)
legally owns the land and only the OPW is legally entitled to any money
derived from the land.

Dromard Farm was bought by OPW in 2007. Its about 5km from the
Garda College. After the property crash, the site lay idle for several
years and, following complaints from neighbouring farms (about
overgrown weeds), it was decided to lease the land out to local farmers.

In addition, money from the rental of Dromard Farm, via the College
Restaurant account between 2010 and 2013, was spent on, among
other things:

Fetac entertainment
Garda Boat Club sponsorship
Entertainment
Lyons Club Donation
Presentation on retirement
Presentation on transfer Supt
Sponsorship
Murphys restaurant entertainment
Presentation on Retirement AC
Fiacri House Restaurant Retirement
Presentation to Commissioners Retirement
St Josephs National School donation
Special Olympics

Later, in 2017, the head of internal audit Niall Kelly recommends that
that the 124,903 collected for the rent of Dromard Farm be
transferred to the OPW and that it should be paid from the Garda
Vote.

October 1, 2010: The Garda Internal Audit Section (GIAS) finds


that, as of October 1, 2010, St Raphael (Garda Credit Union) Bar
Account had a balance of 417,068 but this dropped over years
with large amounts (payments of 100,000 each) being tansferred
to the Garda Restaurant Account in the years following.

These transfers are made to keep the restaurant going when student
numbers are low.

March 2011 August 2016: Chief Superintendent Anne Marie


McMahon is responsible for the Garda College and becomes a director
of Sportsfield Company Ltd.

She is still a director of the company.

Chief Supt McMahon tells a PAC meeting, on June 14, 2017: I am a


director of the company by virtue of my role in An Garda Sochna, not
as Anne Marie McMahon.
At the same PAC meeting, Chief Supt McMahon says she didnt
make any standards in public office submission because she received
informal legal advice, from Assistant Commissioner Eugene Corcoran,
that she did not need to. However she made
declarations retrospectively.

March 2, 2011: Niall Kelly, head of internal audit, forwards the first draft
of his report in respect of the 2010 financial controls to the Garda
Commissioner Martin Callinan.

It included the following paragraphs:

GIAS can provide no assurance in regard to the financial


controls in place in the Garda College Templemore or the
expenditure of the College. In 2008 the Head of Internal Audit
[John Leamy] in the course of reviewing old audit files from the period
prior to his commencement in June 2007 became aware of serious
issues of concern emanating from a draft audit report dated from
2006. At that stage (2008) we sought to conduct an audit of
the financial controls in the Garda College but were
informed that the Finance Directorate were updating the
financial systems in the college and advised that we await the
outcome of this work. In August 2009 we commenced our audit work.

During the course of this audit work we became aware that the
Finance Directorate were actively writing a report on the
finances in the college. At that point (December 2009) we
suspended our audit pending the conclusion of the Finance Directorate
Report. We have sought access to this report [the Barry
McGee report] on several occasions since but have been told
that it is still in draft, a version of the report has however
been provided to management in the college.

March 3, 2011: Chief Administration Officer John Leamy writes a letter


to the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

On May 31, 2017, John Barrett refers to this letter at a meeting of the
PAC and says it is evidence of the fact that there was an awareness of
these issues on that date at the apex of the organisation.

March 4, 2011: Niall Kelly receives a note from the chief administrative
officer headed urgent. Attached to the note was another note from the
Garda Commissioner (the Garda Commissioner at this time was Martin
Callinan) saying that a report should be given to Mr Kelly but this was
not the McGee report. Instead, he meant a summarised version of the
McGee report.
In this summarised report, Mr Kelly is assured by the Executive
Director of Finance Michael Culhane that the financial controls in
the Garda College have been streamlined and improved.

Mr Kelly, in turn, deletes the paragraphs (in italics above) from his final
version of the Report to the Garda Commissioner in relation to Financial
Controls in 2010.

Mr Kelly later tells PAC (on May 4, 2017) that his deleting of the
paragraphs was a mistake. Asked if he felt duped, at the same PAC
meeting, he says he did. He adds:There was a culture of circling the
wagons and I got caught trying to bang into the wagons.

December 2011: Kenneth Ruane starts as the Head of Legal Affairs at


An Garda Siochana.

2012: From 2012, Supt Pat McCabe is once again the Administrator of
the Garda College Restaurant.

April 2013 end of 2015: Cyril Dunne is the Chief Administrative


Officer at An Garda Siochana.

Early 2014: OPW takes over full control of Dromard Farm.

2014: Repayments to the OPW, in respect of Dromard Farm, begin to


be paid.

March 25, 2014: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan steps down.


Noirin OSullivan is appointed Garda Commissioner on an interim basis
at this time. Shes later made Garda Commissioner on a permanent
basis on November 25, 2014.

2014-2015: Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly tells a meeting of the


Public Accounts Committee on May 4, 2017:

I was asking questions in 2008 and 2009 but I was not getting
answers. In March 2011, in relation to the 2010 accounts, I got
assurances that issues were being addressed. What happened in 2011
was that effectively the college closed and there was very little activity.
Between 2011 and 2014, if I had gone to audit I probably would not
have found anything because effectively we were doing nothing. In
2014-2015 these issues started arising again. In 2016, we were
brought in to do the audit.

October 3, 2014: John Barrett takes up his role as the first civilian
Executive Director of Human Resources and People Management at An
Garda Siochana seven years after such a role was first recommended
in the Hayes Report of 2007. For the previous 25 years, he worked for
large multinationals.

November 2014: Fennelly interim report is published and, in it, it is


recommended that Garda management should brief the Department of
Justice as early as possible on matters which could impact the
reputation and public standing of An Garda Siochana.

2014/2015: Garda College starts to receive new entrants again.

June 10, 2105: John Barrett explains to Inspector Margaret Howard


and later Chief Anne Marie McMahon that the budgets for the Garda
College were not in good order. He told them the matter was very
serious in terms of over spend and that he would address the
matter directly with the College Finance Staff the following day, June 11.

June 11, 2015: John Barrett meets the clerk of the Garda College, Sgt
Ollie Nally and Carmel Lynagh. He has 14 questions he wants
answered.

June 15, 2015: John Barrett attends a meeting at the office of the CAO.
Others in attendance include Cyril Dunne, Michael Culhane, Alan
Mulligan, and Sgt Siobhan Brown. Mr Barrett explains that the 2015 HR
budget was in good order, except for the Garda College. Mr Barrett
requests that Mr Culhane help him get to the bottom of a number of
things which were a cause of concern to me from my meeting with
College Finance Staff the previous Thursday [June 11]

June 17, 2015: Barrett raises his concerns about the Garda College at
the staff meeting of the CAO. Of this meeting, Mr Barrett claims:

Michael Culhane pointed out that it was felt that these


matters were best kept away from internal audit and would be
very serious if they were to come into the view of the Comptroller and
Auditor General.

At a meeting of the PAC on May 31, 2017, Mr Culhane says he did not
say this.

Later that afternoon, on June 17, 2015, according to Mr Barrett, he gets


a call from Barry McGee, now a senior accountant in the Finance
Section of An Garda Siochana. Mr McGee tells Mr Barrett that he
wanted to give him a copy of his 2008 report which he wrote shortly
after he started working at AGS, having previously worked in the
C&AGs office.

Mr Barrett asked Mr McGee to print two copies and to give one to him
and one to CAO Cyril Dunne.

June 18, 2015: Mr Barrett had a meeting via video with the CAO and
others in HQ from the Templemore video room. After the meeting, Mr
Barrett spoke to the CAO Cyril Dunne one on one. He expressed his
grave concerns and Cyril Dunne agreed that there was no place
for shadow entities and invisible and off GL/Off Balance sheet
operations. Mr Barret also asked Mr Dunne if he had got the McGee
report. Mr Dunne said he hadnt see it yet. Mr Barrett said hed make
sure Mr Dunne got a copy.

In a later conversation with Mr McGee, Mr McGee confirmed to Mr


Barrett that he would get a copy to Cyril Dunne and that he had not, at
that point, already done so.

At around noon, Sgt Ollie Nally visited Mr Barrett in his office to tell
him that the College Administrator Supt Pat McCabe, who had
been in Dublin that morning, was coming to Templemore to
discuss the issues with Mr Barrett.

Mr Barrett asked Sgt Nally if he had finished answering the 14


questions that he had prepared. Sgt Nally told Mr Barrett: They [the
finance section] are crunching numbers now.

Mr Barrett asked Sgt Nally about the materials he had requested


(activity dara, org charts, etc) and that he had been assured would be
with him the following day (Friday). Sgt Nally told Mr Barrett that it was
being worked on.

When Mr Barrett deliberately (to see his reaction) asked about the
Restaurant and Shop, Sgt Nally said Supt McCabe would speak to
him about that.

Supt McCabe visited Mr Barrett in his office that afternoon. Supt


McCabe said to Mr Barrett: Well you have been doing a bit of
digging. Mr Barrett claims: Pat [Supt McCabe] behaved in a very
uneasy manner which suggested to me thathe appeared
surprised by the degree of detail I had from 2008 and the quantum
of the investments.

Mr Barrett also later recalled:


He told me that the investments had fallen in value to about 600,000
and that there was a plan to use some of it to contribute to the
refurbishment of the building

I was disturbed by the body language and surprise shown


by Pat McCabe in our 20 minutes together though that is explainable
by the nature of the matters and irregularities which so obviously
arise. I believe that there was a chance that he came to me
wondering the extent of the matters I was aware of and
when I quoted the details from the 2008 report (which he
says he was never shown) he was more surprised and
concerned. He expressed the view that a solution needed to be found
to all of this and I agreed.

Mr Barrett then telephones CAO Cyril Dunne to tell him about his
meeting with Supt McCabe.

Mr Barrett says:

For his part, Cyril said he had got the report [McGee report]
but not as yet read it. He had, however, made some enquiries
and he confirmed that there was a nasty smell of the answers
he had been given so far. I undertook to Cyril to think some more
on it over the weekend and to have a clearer view for him when he
would return from vacation.

June 19, 2015: Mr Barrett sends a text to Mr McGee confirming that he


read his report and commended him for his work. Mr Barrett also asks
Sgt Fiona Broderick if his letter to Sgt Nally, the clerk of the college, had
been sent and she confirmed it had. This letter contained the 14
questions he had raised on June 11. Mr Barrett was told his letter was
sent by email.

Mr Barrett receives a call from Chief Anne Marie McMahon about


the financial data he had requested. She asks for a face-to-face
meeting and tells Mr Barrett many of the documents he had
requested would require reformatting and restatement and it
was a big job to do this.

Mr Barrett said he didnt think this was the case but, if it turned out to be
the case, hed ask for help from the head of finance Michael Culhane.

June 22, 2015: Mr Barrett goes to the office of the Head of Legal
Affairs Ken Ruane and asks him for his advice. Mr Ruane is not fully
aware of Mr Barretts concerns, or of all the details of the McGee report,
and advises in the strongest possible terms to ensure that this
matter was dealt with openly and transparently and that approach
had to be the new orthodoxy in AGS, irrespective of who might
seek to oppose it.

June 23, 2015: Supt Pat McCabe calls Mr Barrett to tell Mr


Barrett he had sent him a copy of Assistant Commissioner Jack
Nolans report from 2010 on behalf of the Commissioner who is
Noirin OSullivan. Mr Barrett has not read AC Nolans report at this
point but he tells Supt McCabe that he would do so.

According to Mr Barrett:

Pat [McCabe] informed me that the position was known and


understood at the level of the Commissioner, AGS Executive
Staff, in the Department of Justice and Equality, DPER, the
Department of the Taoiseach, etc. I was relieved.

Later that day, Mr Barrett speaks with Barry McGee, in Finance, who
tells Mr Barrett that he had been working on a variety of documents
and records of a contemporaneous nature that showed some of the
most fundamental risks were ongoing and that no fundamental change
had occurred in the arrangements whereby private and public money
was commingled and administered on a profit basis by an entity
outside the control of the statutory accounting officer and within
my remit generally in the College.

Mr Barrett asked Mr McGee to review the materials at hand.

Mr Barrett telephones Eugene Banks, of the Department of


Justice. Some months previous, Mr Banks had called Mr Barrett about
a question that had been put to the Minister for Justice by a Tipperary
Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan, about the Templemore Golf Club. Mr
Barrett was curious to know of the extent of Mr Banks knowledge of the
matters concerned in light of Supt McCabe having previously told him
that the Department of Justice were aware.

Mr Barrett found Mr Banks to be forthright.

He said that he was aware that at some point some funds


from the College Restaurant had been used to fund the
purchase of lands through a Ltd Company and that the Golf
Club had leased the lands purchased from the guards and
that now there was a dispute of some sort as rent due was
not being paid. Noel Coonan TD had alerted the Minister to the
dispute in the interests of there being no loss of access to his local
constituents in Templemore.
Mr Barrett asks Mr Banks for an estimate of the scale of money that
he thought was involved and he estimated six figures.

June 24, 2015: Mr Barrett calls CAO Cyril Dunne who sits on the
Audit Committee of An Garda Siochana while Mr Dunne was on a
weeks holiday. They discuss the Garda College issues. Mr Barrett
says: Cyril expressed his determination, having reviewed for the
first time a file which he had made available to him in his own
office, to deal with the matters fully and completely.

Mr Barrett tells Mr Dunne he was concerned about the length of time


that these matters continued and that it was apparently rearranged
rather than truncated in 2009 when a report was done by AC Nolan
for the then Commissioner and Accounting Officer. Mr Barrett
expressed confidence in Barry McGee.

That afternoon, Mr Barrett was speaking with Supt Matt Nyland after
Supt Nyland offered to walk with Mr Barrett while he was going to meet
Assistant Commissioner John OMahoney.

Mr Barrett says

As we walked, we discussed the history of this matter and his


previous advise to me that I, as Ex Director HR&PD, should
not get involved in the resolution of these matters. I
expressed my deeply held reservations about his approach
and why I was clear that I could not and would not, close my
eyes, as a civil servants, to this malpractice which I
described as being unacceptable to the organisation and
those staff members now in the middle of the
maladministration.

Matt suggested that this was well known and that it was up to others
in Finance etc to address this. I indicated to him that I was
troubled by his suggested approach, though I understood the
cultural warning, and concern for my personal
wellbeing that might be inherent in his suggestion.

June 25, 2015: John Barrett meets Superintendent Pat McCabe and
they spend two hours going through the history of events. They also
make a trip to Dromard Farm, the sports fields and the golf club.

Mr Barrett later recalls:

Pat noted the degree of crossover between members of An


Garda Siochana [AGS] and club members and their families.
Pat pointed out that the club house was AGS property but that the golf
club land was on lease from the OPW from 1999 for 99 years. There
were difficulties with the lease to AGS, it had never been
signed. In turn, the leased lands were then licensed to the golf club
for a licence fee, (there were no provisions for a sub-lease)
which licence fee notionally agreed at 12,700 per annum
and has not been paid for the past five years.

Pat points out that as far back as two-plus years ago there
was a meeting to review these details and HOLA [head of legal
affairs] was present. The Head of Legal Affairs quite properly advised
that he could not deal with the business of [sic] no AGS entities were
involved. Mr Ruane recommended that the directors/administrators of
the entities seek independent advice. A firm of solicitors, OConnor &
Co, in Merrion Row, have been retained and notice to quit has been
served on the golf club some time ago.

In 1999, a sum of IR85,000 was agreed by AGS Restaurant


as the fee to be paid to the OPW for the lease of some 27 acres
for 99 years. It has since emerged that the lease was never
signed and the provenance of the bank draft use to pay this
sum to the OPW is unknown.

Supt McCabe tells Mr Barrett that the Sportsfield Company Ltd used
proceeds from the Restaurant Account to buy two adjoining pieces of
land to the lands leased and they now form part of the golf course.
These acquisitions were enjoined into the folio of the OPW.

In addition, Supt McCabe tells Mr Barrett that the car park, tennis courts
and club house adjoining the land where the golf course is, is owned by
the AGS. Money from the Restaurant Account was used to develop and
support the tennis courts and club house.

Supt McCabe tells Mr Barrett that, a couple of years ago, he


decided to stop paying for the bar licence in the club house.

Following this, Mr Barrett is unsure how utility charges and


operational costs associated with the club house are paid given
none of the licence fees due have been paid for over five years.

Supt McCabe tells Mr Barrett the key decision makers in relate to the
Restaurant over the years were himself (Pat McCabe), Eoin ODonnell,
and Mick ORiordan.

Mr Barrett asks Supt McCabe about the reaction to the McGee report
and Supt McCabe tells Mr Barrett that the the 2009 review by Jack
Nolan for the Commissioner was certainly discussed at the
highest levels and certainly at the Commissioners Staff.

Supt McCabe said that, on foot of the reports, while some bank
accounts were closed and the laundry operation was shut down, the
core operation of commingling of public and private funds
through a private entity continued and continued to generate
profits.

At peak, the operation accumulated cash and near cash assets of


some 2,300,000.

Supt McCabe told Mr Barrett that, by 2008, the value of investments


was worth about 1,385,000 and, at the time of their meeting on
June 25, 2015, it was estimated to be at around 600,000.

Mr Barrett states that, following the Nolan review of 2010, head of


finance Michael Culhane communicated that certain investments
had be wound down and money was spent on college projects. Mr
Culhane wasnt presented with books of account nor was he made a
signatory or even notice party on any of the investment accounts.

After Mr Barrett expressed his concern about the need to examine the
processes and decision making involved, Supt McCabe said to him: It
never look right and it never was right.

Mr Barrett told Supt McCabe about how Chief Anne Marie McMahon
had said his requests for certain information would require a lot of work.
Supt McCabe said he would get Sgt Ollie Nally to send Mr Barrett
everything her had to hand.

June 26, 2015: In the morning, Mr Barrett sends an email to Barry


McGee about what he felt were the various risks at play in the Garda
College and asks Mr McGee for his thoughts.

In the afternoon, Mr Barrett meets Mr McGee in Mr Barretts office. Mr


McGee shows Mr Barrett that funds were back flowing through the
privately operated restaurant and profits of more than 200,000
were generated in the past 12 months.

Mr Barrett told Mr Barry about his meeting with Supt McCabe and how
Supt McCabe assured Mr Barrett that there was a high degree of
awareness of the matters at issue.
Mr McGee, who used to work in the C&AG office, told Mr Barrett that
the C&AG would be very concerned about the extent and duration of
this arrangement and that to his knowledge it had never been
made known to the internal audit function deliberately and as a
matter of decision rather than oversight.

In addition, Mr Barrett later recalls: We both felt that by not having


the CFO [chief financial officer] and the Accounting Officer [Garda
Commissioner Noirin OSullivan] formally in the loop, though both
were aware, then the remedial actions taken in the aftermath of
the [Nolan] report appear partial.

June 29, 2015: Mr Barrett has a telephone conversation with Chief


Superintendent Anne-Marie McMahon. During this, Mr Barrett
explains that he did not want his request for financial information
to be delayed until after their meeting, as was her suggestion. Mr
Barrett said the questions asked to link spending to activity were basic
and simple accounting.

Mr Barret also raises his concerns about matters involving governance,


management and control in the college in respect of the Restaurant,
Shop, Sportsfield Company, the comingling of public and private funds
through the activities of a private entity. He tells Chief Supt McMahon
that Supt McCabe had been very helpful in giving him background
details.

Mr Barrett and Chief Supt Anne Marie McMahon agree to meet on July
2.

On the same day, June 29, Mr Barrett calls to the office of the
Head of Legal Affairs Ken Ruane and asks him for advice about
the matters he learned from Supt McCabe namely about the
unsigned lease, the missing bank draft, the golf club, etc.

Mr Barrett says Mr Ruane reiterated his view that this matter needed to
be brought into the light of day and he advised that the fullest rigours of
transparency should be considered necessary.

June 30, 2015: Mr Barrett meets the CFO Michael Culhane and Barry
McGee at Mr Barretts office to discus Mr Barretts concerns related to
the day-to-day management and control of costs in relation to the Garda
College and to tell them of the actions he had taken to investigate the
matters, including his meeting and tour with Supt McCabe.
Mr Barrett mentions how Supt McCabe said there must be a broad
level of awareness in both the Commissioners office and, to some
degree, that of the Department of Justice.

Mr Culhane says it would be difficult for the Audit Committee to not be


involved in helping them review the matters. This was after Mr Barrett
asked how it was possible that the Audit Committee had not been
involved previously.

Mr Barrett says he feels Niall Kelly and Ken Ruane need to be involved
in the resolution process, and he is happy with how Mr Culhane and Mr
McGee engaged with the quest for resolution.

Mr Barrett tells them that he will be meeting the Chief Administration


Officer Cyril Dunne later that day and that he will update them on this
meeting afterwards.

At 4.30pm, Mr Barrett meets Mr Dunne at Mr Dunnes office. Mr Barrett


asks if the matter warrants a Section 41 referral to the Minister for
Justice.

Mr Barrett later recalls:

My logic was that this matter did (in my judgement) fit that
definition as it is of a material scale and has a substantial
political dimension to it likely to effect public confidence,
locally and nationally, most especially in the run up to a
general election.

But, Mr Barrett says

Cyril said that while he was not ruling that out, he did not
think that the time was right now for a S41 [Section 41].

During his meeting with Mr Dunne, Eugene Banks, from the Department
of Justice rings. Mr Barrett and Mr Dunne speak to Mr Banks on
speaker phone.

Mr Banks says the Minister for Justice had received a letter from
Independent TD Michael Lowry about the Templemore Golf Club and
efforts by AGS to have the golf club removed fro the non-payment of
rent. Mr Barret is told Mr Lowry would be seeking a comprehensive
update on this matter in a few days.

After the phone call, Mr Dunne says the Garda College matters
were likely to become public.
Mr Barrett recalls:

I agreed with that analysis and asked to ensure that the #1


[Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan] was fully aware.
Cyril said he had spoken to her and that the Commissioner
was aware.

In addition:

Cyril proposed the idea of the establishment of a steering


group to oversee all aspects of the necessary review of the affairs of
the college and he proposed Michael, myself and himself as central
figures

Also on June 30

Gardas HOLA Ken Ruane tells PAC, on May 31, 2017, that he met
head of human resources John Barrett on June 30, 2015, at 4.35pm,
and was told by Mr Barrett that issues relating to the college had
been reported to the Gardas chief administration officer Cyril
Dunne and that Mr Dunne had told him he had passed them on to
the Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan.

July 1, 2015: Mr Barrett learns that both Cyril Dunne and Michael
Culhane will be in the Garda College the following morning to address
the issues with Chief Superintendent Anne-Marie McMahon.

Mr Barrett calls Mr Dunne and asks him if he had told Chief Supt
McMahon of the planned change of agenda and Ms Culhane said no,
he did not feel the need to do so.

July 2, 2015: Cyril Dunne and Michael Culhane meet Mr Barrett in his
office at 9.30am, ahead of their meeting with Chief Supt McMahon.
Before the three men meet, Mr Barrett phones Chief Supt McMahon
and he tells her that Mr Dunne and Mr Culhane will be joining their
10.30am meeting.

Mr Barrett later recalls:

The Chief expressed her surprise and asked why and I


explained that the financial and administrative matters we had
reviewed in the course of our last conversation on the morning of
Monday June 29th were extremely serious and had substantial risk for
the entire organisation.
Chief McMahon became upset and I assured her that this
was not a with hunt of any sort. This was all about dealing with the
realities as we found themThis, I explained, exposed the
Commissioner and the organisation to all sorts of potential risks.

Superintendant Nolan also attends this meeting.

Mr Barrett later recalls:

The Chief pointed out that the Restaurant Manager did a


very good job, provided a good service, was very flexible and was
cost conscious. The profits made by the restaurant were invested and
the Superintendent and the Restaurant Manager managed the
relationship between them.

These surpluses were dipped into when the student numbers


were low and other parts of the surplus were used to make
investment in the college, buying equipment and other key
investments to help update the facilities.

The Chief pointed out that some two years ago there had
been a meeting to discuss the Sportsfield Company Ltd and
at the meeting were Ken Ruane HOLA and Michael Culhane
and Assistant Commissioner Fanning did not attend. The
advise given at that time by the CFO was to liquidate the
investments and this was followed.

Cyril said that he was only interested in the structure so


that he could advise the Accounting Officer [Garda
Commissioner Noirin OSullivan] and maybe down the road
the PAC

Chief McMahon pointed out that there was surplus money


here and that it was practice to invest this in the college. Cyril
responded that he would have assumed that the Garda Vote would
have paid the bills in the college as they do in all other parts of the
organisation.

At this point Cyril Dunne expressed his discomfort with


Superintendent Nolan and I taking notes of the discussion
and I immediately agreed to cease.

Mr Barrett says the meeting finished just before 12 noon, for lunch, and
reconvened afterwards. It is then they agreed to go forward and
form a steering committeeto oversee the full and thorough review of
the matters arising.
In addition, Mr Dunne invites Chief McMahon to be part of the
steering committee, while a view is taken by Mr Dunne that Niall
Kelly should not be engaged in the work of the steering group.

Chief McMahon says she does not have a copy of the McGee report. In
turn, Mr Barrett has a copy made and gives it to her.

She also asks Mr Dunne if the Garda Commissioner Noirin


OSullivan is aware of the issues and he assures her that he had
spoken to her and they would do so again after their meeting.

Chief McMahon also gives Mr Barrett some papers pertaining to the 14


questions he had previously raised with her about the Garda College in
relation to overtime, travel and subsistence.

Mr Dunne asks Mr Barrett to put together a summary of the issues, as


outlined in the 2008 McGee and 2010 Nolan reports for onward
transmission to the Audit Committee of An Garda Siochana for
their July meeting.

Later, at a meeting of the PAC, on May 31, 2017, Mr Barrett says of this
meeting:

It [this meeting] was essentially the first meeting of the


steering group established to examine the issues which I had
begun to explore in the second two weeks of June.

Asked by Labour TD Alan Kelly, at the same PAC meeting on May 31,
2017, if Mr Culhane has a differing view of the meeting, Mr Culhane
says: No.

July 3, 2015: John Barrett speaks to Assistant Commissioner Jack


Nolan on the telephone and tells him that his report of 2010 was
discussed at the meeting of the previous day.

Mr Barrett later recalls:

AC Nolan said that he never saw his report as closing the


mattersand that I should be aware that he was especially concerned
about the decision to close the laundry account by simply diverting the
funding into the Restaurant operation.

He expressed the view that it was bizarre that laundry


facilities provided by the State to students were then charged
for and those funds were then assumed into the laundry
account.
AC Jack Nolan also alerted me to the fact that monies
collected from the rental of the lands on the outside farm
were collected from the farmer who rented the lands and
these funds too were lodged (as far as he knew) to the
restaurant account.

July 6, 2015: Mr Barrett delivers his report on the McGee and Nolan
reports to Cyril Dunne, as requested. This report is a ten-slide Power
Point deck entitled Summary of Issues Arising from the Reports and
Discussions Held at the Garda College on Thursday, July 2, 2015.

In a letter with the report, Mr Barrett states:

I fully support your proposal to move quickly and to form a


steering group to oversee the detailed program of work needed to
address the practices and to enquire fully into all the matters
arisingI am pleased that you intend to advise the Audit
Committee/Chair and that you intend to include the Director
of Finance, the Head of Legal Affairs and the Director of
Training on the Steering Committee. For me, the devil is in the
detail and I recommend that we adopt a prudent and transparent
approach to our work and that you, as Chair of the Steering
Committee, take the necessary time to brief all the key stakeholders
whose support we will need to rely upon.

The ten-slide deck includes an email from Barry McGee to Mr Barrett,


on June 25, 2015, in which Mr McGee says:

I think the problem in approaching the solving of this, is


that because of the potential negative repetitional risk for
the organisation in that once this starts to be sorted it hits
the public media, either through audit, etc, it could have very big
ramifications like the accounting officer [Garda
Commissioner Noirin OSullivan] appearing before the PAC,
etc so it is how to solve this quietly without risking
exposure again this is just my opinion so this report was quiet
sensitive Michael [Culhane] has said if you wish to meet to discuss
this etc might be useful it is not necessarily a nice report

Readers should note Mr Barretts report is not given to the audit


committee, nor is the audit committee briefed of the matters at its
next meeting on July 15, 2015.

Mr Dunne later tells the head of internal audit Niall Kelly that he didnt
bring Mr Barretts report to the attention of GIAS and the audit
committee in July 2015, as he wanted to check the issues and gather
more information.

That afternoon, Mr Barrett meets the head of legal affairs Ken Ruane at
Mr Ruanes office, to update him on developments since their last
discussion.

July 8, 2015: In a letter to Cyril Dunne, Mr Barrett writes:

I am very concerned about ensuring that all relevant matters are


made known to all the relevant parties as soon as possible. I have left
the briefing of the Commissioner in your capable hands and I
was delighted you had briefed her in advance of our meeting
of Thursday last.

July 27, 2015: Niall Kelly tells PAC, on May 31, 2017, that, on July 27,
2015, there was a meeting of all managers from chief superintendent,
head of section or principal officer grade upwards in Templemore on
the AGSs modernisation and renewal programme.

During a break of this meeting, according to Mr Kelly, Ken Ruane,


head of legal affairs, asked him how the discussion about the
Garda College at the audit committee meeting of the previous
week, July 15, 2015, had gone.

Mr Kelly told Mr Ruane that no such discussion took place. Mr Ruane


then told Mr Kelly there were serious issues in the Garda College that
he should be aware of and that John Barrett had prepared a document
for the CAO Cyril Dunne to brief the audit committee.

Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan tells PAC (May 4, 2017) the first
I became aware of the issue was on 27 July [2015].

This was in reference to a meeting at the Garda College which was


attended by John Barrett, Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan, Chief
Administrative Officer Cyril Dunne, Deputy Commissioner Dnall
Cualin and Assistant Commissioner John Twomey.

Niall Kelly was not invited to this meeting and was not informed of
its outcome.

Ms OSullivan later tells PAC, on May 4, 2017: There was a very


brief conversation in a room after a meeting in Templemore at which Mr
Barrett had raised certain issues, specifically to do with some work he
was doing, when I was present with the two deputy commissioners and
the chief administrative officer.
Ms OSullivan said the meeting was very brief and my memory is that
after a long meeting in the Garda College, accompanied by the chief
administrative officer and two deputy commissioners, I was in the
reception room having tea. Mr Barrett arrived into the room and
spoke about the issues raised

At the same PAC meeting, Donal OCualain could not recall the
length of the meeting.

And, again at the same PAC meeting, John Barrett says: The
meeting lasted two hours.

In addition, at the same PAC meeting, when Sinn Fin TD Mary Lou
McDonald asks Noirin OSullivan what explanation Cyril Dunne gave, at
this July 27 meeting, for not briefing the audit committee of John
Barretts concerns, Ms OSullivan said: He did not give any
explanation because there was to be a group to be established

When Sinn Fin TD David Cullinane, at the same PAC meeting of May
4, 2017,asked the Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan
why repayments to the OPW began in 2014 when nobody
apparently knew of any irregularities before July 2015, Ms
OSullivan referred to the current Chief Administration Officer Joseph
Nugent to answer.

Mr Nugent told PAC: I think we need to get more information on


this. We will come back on this issue.

Ms OSullivan also later tells PAC, on May 4, 2017, that she was not
advised to inform the Minister for Justice of the concerns related to the
Garda College, under Section 41 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005. But
she was advised that the matters may warrant a report under Section
41.

Ms OSullivan told PAC: I felt at the time that we did not have
sufficient information. We put together an immediate group,
comprising representatives of the Department of Justice and Equality, to
get to the bottom of the matter.

At the July 27, 2015 meeting, John Barrett learns that the July 6, 2015
report he prepared in response to a request from Cyril Dunne and
intended for circulation to Michael Howard and the audit committee
was withheld from Mr Howard.
Later, in a letter Mr Barrett writes to Cyril Dunne, Mr Barrett recalls the
July 27 meeting. He notes:

The meeting at the Garda College of Monday July 27th was important
in very many respects. You will recall that it took place after the
briefing on Transformation on the ground floor of the library building
and I was invited to the follow on session by Acting Deputy SCM. He
and I walked across to the Reception Room with him. He told me
that the Commissioner wanted to have a meeting about the
letter from Ken Ruane, which he had got on Friday evening,
July 24th.

The five of us at the meeting then considered in some detail


the letter of Friday, July 24th sent by HOLA [Head of Legal
Affairs Ken Ruane] to the Acting Deputy SCM. Ken Ruanes
letter also enclosed a copy of the Barry McGee report from
March 2008.

Early in the meeting, I made clear that I was the source of the
briefing of HOLA upon which his opinion was based. I
explained my very real concerns around the contents of the McGee
report when I saw it first. I said that I became even more concerned as
I raised questions after reading it.

I explained that I had met with Ken Ruane and sought his advice and
input on a number of occasions and I had met with Michael Culhane
and Barry McGee on June 30th.

I felt a real tension in the room around my acknowledging


that I was the concerned party behind the letter of advice
from HOLA. I made it clear that as soon as I had read the 2008
report, I had called Mr Barry McGee and asked him to furnish you
(CAO) with a copy of the 2008 report directly to your office.

I also pointed out that Michael Culhane and I agreed that we needed
to get accounting skills into the college quickly and that when I ask the
CFO [chief financial officer] about asking IA [internal audit] to do the
work, the CFO said that IA may not have the ability/and scope to do
the work.

At the meeting in the college I made specific reference to my


concerns around the scale of the commingled monies
involved, (12m over ten years), the practices in the restaurant,
laundry and Shop (some of which had now ceased), the existence of
a total sum of the order 2.3m euros in various investment
accounts at peak, (but estimated to be some 600,000 as at
the date of the meeting and no clarity around the historic
disbursements of monies other than lands were purchased at some
stage and 222,000 was expended on staff redundancies c2010).

I received considerable push back when I referred to the


loss of all books of account prior to a date which coincided
with the retirement of a restaurant manager [2007]. I was
counselled by all others in attendance that I needed to be
very careful in making such unproven assertions and connections.

I agreed and withdrew the remark noting the perspective of the


meeting. The Commissioner perused the McGee document and
concluded that there was no evidence of misappropriation.

I countered and raised my concern that the structural


arrangements complained of in 2008 are still currently
operating, and that material funds from the vote were not accounted
for in the accounting process and continue to be managed and
controlled outside the view of the CFO and the responsibility of the
accounting officer.

The meeting debated the degree to which the Department [of Justice]
were aware that I referenced a point made to me by Michael
Culhane at a meeting on July 2nd that the department were
aware of the profit making potential of the college
operations and were supportive if such profits were used for
investment in college facilities.

...I expressed by concern about no information having been


shared with the office of the Internal Auditor in 2008, 2010
or now and I was told that Mr Niall Kelly was involved in the
College. I was told that I was wrong about Mr Kelly being
unaware of the issues.

AC [Assistant Commissioner] John Twomey and the Commissioner


recalled that the IA [internal audit] team were in the College to do their
work. I said that I had been told that they were not but that I would
investigate further.

There was a reticence among the Commissioner and the


acting deputies to accept the conclusions of Barry McGees
report and the additional materials added by the CAO and I. The
meeting was of the view that there was no evidence of wrong
doing on the part of individuals.

With specific reference to my remark concerning the


disappearance of the books of account, quoted in the McGee
report, I was warned again to be very careful. The action was
given to the CAO to move forward with the work of the working group
and for that such work should progress before any thought of a S41 [a
section of the Garda Siochana Act which puts certain obligations on the
Garda Commissioner to report matters to the Minister for Justice and
Equality] could be considered fully, thus rejecting the letter from
HOLA.

Our meeting that night, which ran for well over two hours,
left me somewhat perplexed. My note says that I left the meeting
at 19.37 that evening and I left the four of you, (the Commissioner, AC
Twomey, AC OCullaine and yourself [Cyril Dunne]) in the reception
room in continuing discussion.

Mr Barrett sends these notes of the meeting in registered post to


himself and also sent it it in a sealed envelope to Ken Ruane, head of
legal affairs.

Later, at a meeting of the PAC on May 31, 2017, Social Democrat TD


Catherine Murphy said it appeared the sending of the minutes or notes
of the meeting, by registered post to himself, was a self-protection
mechanism.

Mr Barrett replies:

Let us look at what we have recently read in our


newspapers concerning whether records were destroyed or
whether telecommunications equipment survived. I was very
conscious of the fact that what I was dealing with here was
well known and understood for a number of years.

July 28, 2015: Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan told PAC (on
May 4, 2017) that on July 28, 2015, Deputy Commissioner Donal
OCualain prepared a report based on a report by Head of Legal
Affairs Ken Ruane and we immediately put together a group
comprising representatives of the Department of Justice and
Equality to look at the issues.

August 6, 2015: Head of Legal Affairs Ken Ruane told a meeting of


PAC on May 31, 2017, that at a meeting also attended by Michael
Culhane, Mr Ruane indicated that certain issues may have needed
to be referred for external advice to the Attorney Generals
officeMr Culhane was concerned that I was seeking external
advice, or that I was even proposing to seek external advice...

This was in relation to Garda College lands and the legal status of
employees in the restaurant.
In addition, in relation to this meeting of August 6, Cyril Dunne later
asks Mr Ruane to change his minutes of the meeting. Mr Dunne
wrote to Mr Ruane, saying:

Ken,

Thank you for the attached. Before I review, I ought to share my initial
reaction which is that the draft goes to an inappropriate level of
detail.

Mr Ruane did change the minutes but kept a note of his original minutes
and told Mr Dunne this at their next meeting.

August 31, 2015: Head of Legal Affairs Ken Ruane sent a letter
seeking legal advice from the Attorney General and, the following
day, this was copied to the Department of Justice.

Anne Barry, of the Department of Justice and who took over from
Eugene Banks in September 2015, tells PAC, on May 31, 2017, that
when the department received the copy of Mr Ruanes request for legal
advices, it became aware of issues at the Garda College.

Ms Barry subsequently wrote to the Chief Administrative Officer Cyril


Dunne on October 6, 2015. She also told PAC that the department
didnt notify the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald until September
16, 2016.

September 30, 2015: John Barretts report, which he compiled for the
then CAO Cyril Dunne, in July 2015, and which he expected would be
passed on to the audit committee but wasnt is raised under Any
Other Business at a meeting of the audit committee.

Mr Barretts report is not distributed among the committee


members.

As head of external audit, Michael Howard is chairman of this audit


committee at this time.

Mr Howard later recalls this audit committee meeting at a meeting of the


PAC on May 31, 2017, saying:

There was a very busy agenda that day and at the end of the meeting
this was raised verbally as an AOB item. There was no briefing given
to us. I have reflected on how I will phrase this: neither I nor
any of the other outside members of the committee took from
that briefing any sense of the importance of this issue as it
subsequently emerged.

I want to be very clear so that there is no


misunderstanding. It was mentioned as an AOB item in
September, mentioned literally as a one-liner at the next
meeting in December as something to keep an eye on; I
mentioned it as one of a list of nine items that we were keeping an eye
on, so we did know the issue existed but we had no notion as to what
was entailed in it.

This differs greatly to what Deputy Commission Donal OCualain told


PAC on May 4, 2017. Mr OCualain said: The report was not
circulated. That is correct, but a detailed oral account was given
[by Cyril Dunne].

Mr OCualain also told PAC that he was basing his understanding that
there was extensive discussion off the minutes of the meeting. He
wasnt at that meeting himself.

October 2015: Dnall Cualin becomes the Chief Administration


Officer at the Garda College. He tells the PAC on June 14, 2017: At
that point, the advice was that the legal advice had to be sought
and obtained before Mr [Niall] Kelly could commence his work
[audit], all the bank accounts had to be closed, and all the moneys
and investments had to be brought into one account. All that work
was ongoing.

Its understood this advice was not from Head of Legal Affairs Ken
Ruane but from Cyril Dunne.

October 24, 2015: Executive director of finance Michael Culhane writes


to the Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan, and Deputy
Commissioners John Twomey and Dnall Cualin, saying John
Barrett had collected confidential information and sent it to his home
address without consent.

Mr Culhane said this was a breach of the Official Secrets Act and he
urged Ms OSullivan to investigate Mr Barretts actions.

Later, at a meeting of the PAC on May 31, 2017, Mr Culhane admits:

I suppose with the benefit of hindsight, it probably was not


wise to make that statement.
At the same PAC meeting, John Barrett said he requested that letter
several times, personally and through his solicitor. He wrote to the
Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan three times. He eventually
received it, under FOI, but 85% of it was redacted. He learned of the
letter a year after it was written.

In the same letter to Ms OSullivan, Mr Culhane wrote:

In taking this unusual action to report this matter to you [the


Commissioner] I am concerned that you should be aware of the very
serious statements made by Mr Barrett and the implied threat of some
unauthorised action on his part which will damage An Garda
Sochna.

He also accused Mr Barrett of attempting to undermine my professional


reputation.

When asked about this letter at a meeting of the PAC on May 31, 2017,
Mr Culhane said:

I had no idea what he was going to do with the information which had
been collected. It was a general statement.I was concerned that
there might be some leakage to the press

At the same PAC meeting on May 31, 2017, when Sinn Fin TD David
Cullinane asks John Barrett if he believes the letter was an attempt to
undermine his work, Mr Barrett says: Absolutely.

October 2015: John OCallaghan, of the Department of Justice,


tells PAC (on May 4, 2017) that the Department of Justice was not
aware of any financial irregularities in the Garda College until
October 2015.

Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan told PAC (on May 4, 2017) it is


clear that the Department [of Justice] had knowledge going back to
1988, though I am not sure of the exact date. There were indications,
prior to the Commissioner becoming Accounting Officer, that the
Department had an involvement in the structure put in place for a
funding model for the Garda College.

October 21 2015: Its reported that Cyril Dunne is to leave his


160,000-a-year job as Chief Administration Officer at An Garda
Siochana at the end of the year, to take up a new role at CIE.

March 29, 2016: Deputy commissioner for strategy and change


management Donal O Cualain requests the head of internal audit Niall
Kelly to carry out an examination of the matters pertaining to the Garda
College.

May 31, 2016: The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General
Seamus McCarthy is made aware, for the first time, of concerns
regarding finances at the Garda College by head of internal audit Niall
Kelly. Mr Kelly tells C&AG that he will be carrying out an internal audit of
the colleges affairs. [Seamus McCarthy says this to PAC on May 4]

When asked by Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy why it took


so long for the C&AG to be notified, Garda Commissioner Noirin
OSullivan said:

Work was ongoing to establish the facts of the whole


situation in order that a report could be compiled to set out what had
gone on all the way back to 2006 when the initial report was made
that Mr Kelly had identified. As soon as the internal audit work was
ongoing, the Comptroller and Auditor Generals office was informed.

June 2, 2016: John Barrett has a meeting with Michael Howard, the
head of external audit, after Mr Howard received Mr Barretts report
from July 6, 2015. Mr Howard received the report from Niall
Kelly. According to Mr Barrett, he and Mr Howard spoke for about
two and a half hours, Mr Howard was shocked by what Mr Barrett
found and Mr Howard said he would like to have a several
more discussions with Mr Barrett about the matters raised.

But, as of May 4, 2017, Mr Barrett never heard from Mr Howard


again.

June 9, 2016: An Garda Siochana launches its Modernisation and


Renewal Programme, in which it calls for a review of the culture within
An Garda Siochana.

June 16, 2016: The head of external audit Michael Howard meets the
Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan. Mr Howard later tells Niall Kelly
that he met Ms OSullivan. In turn, Mr Kelly tells Mr Barrett of Mr
Howards meeting with Ms OSullivan.

Mr Howard later tells the PAC, on May 31, 2017:

When I spoke to the Commissioner first, I presented the conferrings.


Yes, I did refer to Mr. Kelly and to Mr. Barrett, obviously. I did
voice my reservations, not just at the delay in respect of this. I did
discuss with her the manner in which this had been presented and my
disappointment that it had passed. I also expressed my serious
concerns about the fact it seemed to have been in the organisation
since 2008 and nothing had been done about it. I emphasised to the
Commissioner the absolute urgency of tackling it now. That
was the basic message that I wished to give to the
Commissioner. I believe, and the committee may question
the Commissioner on this, that I brought with me and left
some passages from the public financial procedures about
the responsibilities of the Accounting Officer.

...I was warning her that, as the Accounting Officer, she was
exposed.

June 22, 2016: The head of internal audit Niall Kelly starts his internal
audit into the finances of the Garda College.

August 29, 2016: According to the C&AG, Niall Kellys office


informs the C&AG that an interim report has been drafted and that
significant issues had been identified that required further investigation.

At this point the C&AG Seamus McCarthy had not seen the report. He
asked the Garda Colleges Accounting Officer, Garda Commissioner
Noirin OSullivan, to amend the 2015 statement on internal financial
control to disclose the non-compliance with corporate governance
standards.

September 2016: Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan receives Niall


Kellys draft interim report. Ms OSullivan later tells PAC (on May 4,
2017) that she first informed the Minister for Justice about the concerns
related to the Garda College around September 2016, when the draft
interim audit report was completed.

September 6, 2016: Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly gives a draft of


his Garda College report to the Garda executive committee and they
accept it. It says it can give no assurances in relation to the
financial controls in the Garda College and makes 19
recommendations.

September 13, 2016: C&AG office receives a copy of the interim


reports executive summary.

September 16, 2016: The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is


made aware of Niall Kellys draft interim report into the Garda College
by Department of Justice officials.

October 12, 2016: In response to receiving a copy of Mr Kellys interim


audit report, John Barrett writes a letter to Mr Kelly in which he cites
concerns about information being deliberately and systematically
being kept outside the purview of the statutory auditors.

Mr Barrett writes:

I am very concerned to ensure that the values, attitudes and beliefs


which surrounded this abuse of the public purse and the inaction and
complicity of those whose task it was to protect it, can never be
allowed happen again.

I am deeply concerned about the consistency which sees


revenues generated from numerous on-campus activities
came to be banked in more than 40 unauthorised bank
accounts and how in each and every case the bulk of the
costs associated with those same activities came to be
charged to the vote and the public purse.

Most critically this process was understood over many years by those
in roles charged with probity and the entire edifice seems to have stood
protected from enquiry while remaining in plain view.

I am particularly concerned about how this matter was deliberately


and systematically kept outside the purview of the Statutory Audit
Committee? How it came to pass that reports specifically prepared on
the financial arrangements in the Garda College were not shared with
either you or the audit committee?

The open and essential question is how the annual returns


made to the Department of Justice and Equality and the
Department of Finance, signed by the Accounting Officer
[Garda Commissioner] over all the years since the 2005 Act,
made no reference to millions of euro held in these
unauthorised accounts (private banking, brokerage
accounts, retail banking and credit unions) at a time when
large supplementary estimates were routinely requested
from Government.

These questions raise uncomfortable concerns about the historic


management processes which were deemed acceptable and how they
came to operate and continue up to the current date.

Mr Barrett also raises concerns that almost 16 months has gone by


and we are just now at the point of considering finalising a
response to an interim audit report which you and your staff were
obliged to rush to a conclusion.

He adds:
In that 16 months I contend that despite an amount of carefully
constructed internal discussion, almost no meaningful external
assistance has been brought to bear on the complex web of
matters arising. I am troubled too by the suggestion made at the last
meeting of the so called steering group that the acceptable or rejection
of the recommendations made in your report could or should be varied
at the discretion of the Commissioner and the executive.

And he states:

Given the longevity of the arrangements and the efforts to keep you
and your office at bay, referenced in numerous emails and at meetings
I attended,I am clear in my view that many of those most
closely associated with this state of affairs were keenly
aware that arrangements were in place which ran counter to
process, government accounting regulations and
legislation.

the issues should not be addressed by those whose actions


or inactions in any way contributed to the circumstances
which gave rise to the problematic matters highlighted by your
interim audit report.

It is clear from the short snap shot of the administrative history of


the Garda College, which your report explores, that this accountability
chain simply has not worked over many years. It is clear that its
failure was not a function of omission, but rather calculated occlusion.

For me, the cultural investigation is crucial. It is crucial


because, as my old boss at Stratus Computer in Boston, John
Young, used to say, John there is never just one cockroach.
We need to examine the decision and approval sequences as to why
such a web and sequence of practices was allowed to continue even as
staff at the Garda College trained new Garda members in a value
system that seemingly did not apply to them.

October 13, 2016: Executive director of finance Michael Culhane writes


a letter to head of internal audit Niall Kelly saying his interim draft report
was unprofessional, misleading and mischievous. He
also accuses Mr Kelly of making defamatory comments and
threatened legal proceedings against him if he did not change his
report.

Later, at a meeting of the PAC on May 31, 2017, Sinn Fin TD David
Cullinane asks Mr Kelly if he believes Mr Culhanes letter was
an attempt to get him to water down the content of his report. Mr
Kelly said: Yes.

January 22, 2017: John Mooney, in The Sunday Times, reports on Niall
Kellys interim report into the Garda College and reports how it exposes
serious financial irregularities at the college.

January 23, 2017: Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan does an


interview on RTEs Today With Sean ORourke and says the problems
highlighted in the report are legacy issues.

February 20, 2017: In a letter to Niall Kelly, Michael Culhane writes:


You have effectively set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner by
your refusal to amend your report to reflect the additional correcting
information given to you.

February 2017: Chief Supt Anne Marie McMahon makes a


retrospective declaration regarding SIPO.

February 2017: The final Interim Audit Report is published. It audits


expenditure worth 112million from January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2016.
Of the 112m, 80%, or 90m, related to salary costs while the other
20%, or 22m, related to non-pay costs.

The 112m spent is broken down as follows:

24,107,308 in 2009
15,978,581 in 2010
13,956,632 in 2011
12,045,833 in 2012
11,853,859 in 2013
12,358,858 in 2014
18,158,143 in 2015
4,150,346 in 2016

It isnt possible for the audit to look at records before 2002 as records
are not available. It looks at two periods. The first is January 1, 2009 to
March 31, 2016, a period which records are legally required to be
kept. The second period is 2002 2008 where records on relevant
issues were found.

During the audit, 48 separate bank accounts relating to the college


are identified.

In his main findings, Mr Kelly writes:


In April 2008, a report was completed by the Finance
Directorate that identified many of the issues of concern also
highlighted in this audit and recommended remedial action. The
college management responded in March 2010 rejecting many of the
recommendations of the Finance Directorates Report. Some of the
issues were address [sic] by college management however the
structural issues in the college governance were not
addressed and over the years some of the improvement in
financial controls have now been reversed.

In addition:

The issue as to whether a report should be made to the minister per


section 41 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005 is essentially a legal issue
that GIAS is not competent to advise on. GIAS would however
advise that the issues identified in this report are serious and
present considerable risk to the organisation and should be
dealt with in an open and transparent manner.

Mr Kelly says all bank accounts under the control of the college
management should be closed with the exception of the College
Imprest Account.

He adds:

The Garda College Sportsfield Co Ltd should be wound up.


An accounting firm should be contracted from the Office of
Government Procurement panel of firms to undertake this work. All
assets including all associated assets such as the Sportsfield land and
golf course land should be taken into State control. All bank
accounts and investment accounts linked with the college
should be closed and the balances surrendered to the Central
Fund.

All land and buildings should be transferred to the control of the


Office of Public Works (OPW).

The rents collected 124,903 for the rental of Dromad Farm


for years 2009 to 2013 should be transferred to OPW who
are the legal owners of the land. This should be paid from the
Garda Vote.

Garda staff who were directors of Garda College Sportsfield


Co Ltd should take immediate steps to correct the public
record and retrospectively make declarations under the
Ethic in Public Office, Standards in Public Office Legislation.
Garda HRM should remind these staff of their legal obligations and
provide appropriate legal advice to help them retrospectively report to
the Standard in Public Office Commission.

The 15,964 collected in interest payments received from


placing money related to European Funded projects and
CEPOL funding in deposit accounts should be returned to the
European Commission if it has not already been deducted
from claims.

March 22, 2017: The office of the C&AG receives Niall Kellys interim
report and plans to publish its own report on the matter in September
2017.

April 30, 2017: Michael Howards position as chair of the audit


committee ends. He held the position for three years, from April 2014.

May 4, 2017: Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan appears before the


Public Accounts Committee (PAC) along with Kenneth Ruane, head of
legal affairs; John Barrett, executive director of human resources and
people development; Joseph Nugent, chief administrative officer,
Deputy Commissioner Dnall Cualin, with responsibility for
governance and strategy; Niall Kelly, head of internal audit and; Michael
Culhane, executive director of finance and services.

From the Department of Justice and Equality, PAC was joined by John
OCallaghan, assistant secretary of the policing division; Anne Barry
and Paul McDonald, and from the Department of Public Expenditure
and Reform John Burke.

They are appearing before PAC to field questions about Niall Kellys
internal audit report into the Garda College. At this point, Ms OSullivan
has appointed Assistant Commissioner John ODriscoll to examine Mr
Kellys report and PAC is told Mr ODriscolls report should be
completed before the end of June 2017.

Ms OSullivan tells PAC:

As Accounting Officer, I take my statutory responsibility for


how An Garda Sochna spends taxpayers money very
seriously. It is vital that it be spent efficiently and effectively and in
the best interests of the people, the State and An Garda Sochna.

Ms OSullivan also, at first, tells PAC that she first officially learned of
the matters concerning the Garda College on July 30, 2015.
When Sinn Fin TD David Cullinane asks Ms OSullivan why the 2008
report by the finance directorate Barry McGee was not given to the
Garda Internal Audit Section (GIAS), Ms OSullivan says:

The investigation that Mr. Kelly is conducting as part of the internal


audit is continuing. We are endeavouring to identify the whole chain of
correspondence and the decision making around thatIt is not clear
from the correspondence that we have available to us. I can get Mr.
Kelly or Mr. Culhane to elaborate, or indeed, the chief administrative
officer, who has reviewed all of the papers, but it is my understanding
that it is not evident from the material available who made
that decision

In relation to the same matter, Mr Kelly tells PAC:

There is documentation in place that states that the 2008 report went
to the Commissioner [Fachtna Murphy]. There is correspondence from
the Commissioner to the chief administrative officer instructing the
officer to do certain things, including to give the report to internal
audit and to the Comptroller and Auditor General.

But Mr Kelly said he did not find any evidence to suggest these things
happened.

Also in respect of the Garda College, Social Democrat TD Catherine


Murphy asks Noirin OSullivan: Are there consequences for
anyone?

Ms OSullivan replies:

Again, when the audit report is completed we will look back


and see. We are talking about structures that were put in
place in the 1980s.

When Ms Murphy asks Ms OSullivan why it took almost 10 months for


the C&AG to be informed after the concerns were first raised with the
Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan in July 27, 2015, Ms OSullivan
said:

Work was ongoing to establish the facts of the whole situation


in order that a report could be compiled to set out what had gone on all
the way back to 2006 when the initial report was made that Mr. Kelly
had identified. As soon as the internal audit work was ongoing, the
Comptroller and Auditor Generals office was informed.
Ms Murphy also asks about the Garda Boat Club and if it is subjected to
an internal audit.

Niall Kelly told Ms Murphy: The boat club is completely separate to


An Garda Sochna. We do not have a remit to audit that.

Ms Murphy replies: Some 100,000 is transferred into a company


that is separate from An Garda Sochna from funds that come
into the restaurant because of surpluses made in the restaurant
from public funds. Is that right?

Mr Kelly replies: That is correct, yes.

Ms Murphy also raises St Raphaels Garda Credit Union, saying: The


credit union seems to have gifted the restaurant a considerable amount
during the moratorium to keep the restaurant going. There are four
sums of 100,000 each on different dates. The Central Bank has a
regulatory role in respect of credit unions. Is the bank engaged with St.
Raphaels Garda credit union? Has it examined any of this?

In response, Ms OSullivan says:

St. Raphaels Garda credit union is an independent entity


and, therefore, it does not come under An Garda Sochna.

Joseph Nugent tells PAC that, of the 19 recommendations Niall Kelly


made in his internal audit report, eight have been implemented in
full.

Mr Nugent also states: In terms of the remainder, we are in the


process of formalising them. I would like to see the majority of them
dealt with by the middle of this year, but the chairman has raised some
complicators that will make that difficult.

In response to a query from Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell about why Niall
Kelly was tasked with doing an audit in 2016 despite reports
previously highlighting issues, Mr Kelly told PAC:

I was asking questions in 2008 and 2009 but I was not


getting answers. In March 2011, in relation to the 2010
accounts, I got assurances that issues were being addressed.
What happened in 2011 was that effectively the college closed and there
was very little activity. Between 2011 and 2014, if I had gone to audit I
probably would not have found anything because effectively we were
doing nothing. In 2014-2015 these issues started arising again.
In 2016, we were brought in to do the audit.
Independent TD Catherine Connolly also asks questions about St
Raphaels Credit Union. She had the following exchange with Joseph
Nugent and Niall Kelly:

Catherine Connolly: Let us look at page dealing with St. Raphaels


credit union, which also lists temporary investment accounts.
Look at the list. It includes Bank of Ireland temporary investment
accounts, a Zurich investment policy and so on. There is a huge
number of bank accounts. There is Royal mutual investment, New
Ireland Assurance and so on. All these accounts have been open. I
understand garda cannot open accounts without the permission of the
Minister for Justice and Equality. Is that correct?

Joseph Nugent: That is correct.

Connolly: Okay. Was permission given for all of these accounts


by the Minister for Justice and Equality, whoever he or she was?

Kelly: I did not find it in my audit.

May 4, 2017: The first Public Accounts Committee looking at the Garda
College takes place.

Those attending include: Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan; Head


of Legal Affairs Kenneth Ruane, Executive Director of Human
Resources and People Development John Barrett, Chief Administrative
Officer Joseph Nugent, Deputy Commissioner Dnall Cualin, with
responsibility for governance and strategy; Head of Internal Audit Niall
Kelly and Executive Director of Finance and Services Michael Culhane.

From the Department of Justice and Equality are John OCallaghan,


assistant secretary of the policing division; Anne Barry and Paul
McDonald, and from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
John Burke.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly asks Garda Commissioner Noirin


OSullivan if she accepts that the McGee report is damning. Ms
OSullivan replies: Absolutely, as I say deputy, it is completely
unacceptable.

This differs to Mr Barretts understanding of Garda Commissioner Noirin


OSullivans response to the McGee report during the meeting of the
July 27, 2015.
Mr Barrett claims, at that meeting, the Commissioner perused the
2008 report and concluded that there was no evidence of
misappropriation, it was overly critical and the problems
overstated.

Mary 31, 2017: The Garda College is the focus of a second meeting of
the Public Accounts Committee. Those attending the meeting include
Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly, Executive Director, Human Resources
and People Development John Barrett, Executive Director Finance and
Services Michael Culhane, Head of Legal Affairs Ken Ruane, Chief
Administrative Officer Joseph Nugent, and former Head of the Garda
Audit Committee Michael Howard.

Representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality also


attend, including Anne Barry, principal officer, policing division; and Paul
McDonnell from the policing division.

In his opening statement, Mr Kelly tells PAC:

In regard to interference, non-co-operation and withholding


information from internal audit, there are three periods of
time that should be considered: first, the period from 2008 to 2011;
second, the period from July 2015 to March 2016; and third, the
period from September 2016 to March 2017.

Since the last meeting with the Committee of Public


Accounts, we have commenced two specific audits on EU-
funded projects and programmes concerning the college going back
to 1998 and on current controls of cash in the college restaurant, shop,
vending machines and bar, as well as current banking arrangements. I
hope to have these two audit reports completed by the Committee of
Public Accounts meeting on 13 July.

Mr Kelly also tells PAC there are now six accounts open in relation to
the Garda College of which hes aware.

Labour TD Alan Kelly asks Head of Internal Audit Niall Kelly if has he
ever come across any cheques made out to senior garda by the garda
themselves. Mr Kelly said he did, he came across hundreds of them
and there could be payments of thousands.

Mr Kelly also confirms that internal audit is examining this.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy asks:


Does Mr Kelly or Mr Nugent know if anything was discovered when
the bank accounts were being closed? Is there any specific
indication of any Templemore moneys being sent to a bank
account in Dublin which was under the control of a former
senior Garda officer? Is a specific investigation being carried out
concerning anything of that nature?

Niall Kelly responded:

With the permission of the Chair, I would rather not answer that
question because it concerns an ongoing audit.

May/June 2017: Chief Supt Anne Marie McMahon makes another


retrospective declaration regarding SIPO.

June 14, 2017: At a third Public Accounts Committee involving the


Garda College, those in attendance were: Deputy Commissioner, Dnall
Cualin; Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon; Chief
Superintendent Margaret Nugent; Superintendent Pat McCabe; Barry
McGee, author of the 2008 report; Chief Administrative Officer Joe
Nugent; and former Chief Administrative Officer Cyril Dunne.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr Dunne tells the PAC that he has not
read Mr Kellys interim audit report. He said Mr Kelly provided him with
two pages, in which hes referenced but, when asked if Mr Dunne asked
Mr Kelly for a copy of the full report, he said he didnt.

Mr Dunne is also asked if he will be present for the afternoon portion of


the PAC meeting. He said he wont be as he has other commitments.
He later changes his plans.

He also tells PAC that he first told Garda Commissioner Noirin


OSullivan about the matters concerning the Garda College in first
week of July 2015 and he says the audit committee was briefed
about the financial irregularities in September 2015 but that Mr
Barrett wasnt told this.

June 13, 2017: Its reported that head of human resources John Barrett
has resigned from the Policing Authoritys ethics committee because
of his ongoing dispute with Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan and
others over the Garda College scandal.

Vote 20 - Garda Sochna - Internal Audit Report on Garda


College, Templemore (Resumed)
http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20Authoring/WebAttachments
.nsf/($vLookupByConstructedKey)/committees~20170614~ACC/$File/Daily%
20Book%20Unrevised.pdf?openelement


An Garda Siochanas executive director in finance
and services Michael Culhane, head of internal
audit Niall Kelly, head of human resources John
Barrett at PAC this morning
You may recall head of human resources at An Garda
Siochana John Barrett.
He was the civilian member of the guards who told
Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan about the
financial irregularities at the Garda College in
Templemore, Co Tipperary on July 27, 2015.
This is the date Ms OSullivan told the PAC, on May 4,
that she first heard of the irregularities.
Mr Barrett claims they, and others, discussed the
matters for more than two hours. Ms OSullivan said
they were discussed over a very brief meeting while
having tea.
You may also recall how, in his notes, of the July 2015
meeting, Mr Barrett maintains he was counselled to
be very careful when he referred to the loss of all
books of account prior to a date which coincided with
the retirement of a restaurant manager.
In September 2015, Mr Barrett urged Ms OSullivan
to inform the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald
and the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) of
his concerns about Templemore but Ms Fitzgerald
wasnt informed until some weeks later.
Further to this
Several civilian members of An Garda Siochana are
before the Public Accounts Committee today.
These include:
Niall Kelly Head of Internal Audit (author of the audit
report); John Barrett Executive Director, Human
Resources and People Development; Michael
Culhane Executive Director, Finance and Services;
Ken Ruane Head of Legal Services; Joseph
Nugent Chief Administrative Officer; Michael
Howard former Head of the Garda Audit Committee.
Mr Kelly, who was the author of Garda College interim
audit report on serious financial irregularities at the
Garda College, was the only person to give an
opening statement to the Public Accounts Committee.
In it, he said:
In regards to interference and non co-operation and
withholding of information from internal audit, there
are three periods of time that should be considered.
Firstly, the period from 2008 to 2011. Secondly, the
period from July 2015 to March 2016 and
thirdly, the period from September 2016 to
March 2017.
Further to this
Readers should note documentation sent to the Public
Accounts Committee, ahead of todays meeting,
includes a letter which was sent from the executive
director of finance Michael Culhane to
Noirin OSullivan on October 25, 2015, urging her to
investigate Mr Barrett.

In relation to this letter


Catherine Connolly: As a lay person looking at it,
and we have all these reports and they havent been
acted on, isnt that right? 2006, I dont know what
happened the 2006 report. But the 2008 [McGee]
report made very strong recommendations. Your
colleague Mr Kelly says some were acted on, some
were reversed and some werent acted on at all. Can
you stand over that?
Michael Culhane: Well, I cant stand over that
because I mean, I can only
Connolly: You can or you cant?
Culhane: I can-well in terms of, I can only give
advice.
Connolly: No, can you stand over that, sorry? Do you
accept that the 2008 [report] wasnt implemented.
Culhane: I do yes.
Connolly: Ok, and that parts of it that were
implemented were reversed, thats what Mr Kelly says
clearly in
Culhane: I accept his evaluation.
Connolly: You accept that, ok. Have you
confidence in your colleague Mr [John] Barrett?
Culhane: I accept his professionalism, yes.
Connolly: You do. But, at the same time, youd like
him to be examined under the Official Secrecy
Act?
Culhane: Well, I had concerns about, I had concerns
about, in terms of what he actually, the manner in
which he was treating confidential documents.
Connolly: And do you still have concerns?
Culhane: Well, given the passage of time, and on
reflection, no I dont.
Connolly: Ok, and do you regret doing that?
Culhane: I suppose with the benefit of hindsight,
it probably wasnt wise to make that statement.
Connolly: Ok.
A few seconds later
John Barrett: I have asked three times myself
personally, four times through my solicitor to have
the document that has just been referred to,
that was released to your committee [PAC] yesterday,
given to me. 85% of the document, that eventually
was released under Freedom of Information
consider how this might play was redacted in
protection of the very issues that the Finance
Director has now discussed. That reflects the
situation in its reality.
And his correspondence was made available to your
committee, I think its important that you have it. I
discovered the existence of that letter almost a
year to the day after it had been written. I think it is
appalling that such information and the interesting
inversion of trust that was presented to you,
appalls me.
We requested legitimately a letter written about
me, that I had no knowledge of, that alleges a
potential criminal offence, breaks of natural
justice, constitutional procedure, none of that
existed. And I discover it, yesterday, as being
included in the PAC to this committee.
Sean Fleming (chairman): Which letter are we
referring to?
Barrett: The letter of the 25th of October 2015
Alan Kelly: Just to clarfiy, you were not aware that
this was, it wasnt provided to you under the
requests that you made, but yet it was provided to
this committee.
Barrett: Correct.
Kelly: Yesterday.
Barrett: Yes, sir I wrote directly, myself, when I
became aware this letter existed, I asked for a
copyI wrote to the Commissioner three times to
the best of my knowledge.
Meanwhile
Sinn Fin TD David Cullinane at PAC this morning
Later
David Cullinane: Theres been two sets of
correspondence. One in relation to Mr Barrett
where you attempt to undermine his work and
another set of correspondence in relation to Mr
Kelly, where you attempt to undermined his work
and you say in writing that the report was
unprofessional, misleading and mischievous. So
you have a duty and responsibility to inform this
committee today, how you believed that his report was
unprofessional, misleading and mischievous. You
have a duty and you havent done that. So please
explain to me how the report was unprofessional,
misleading and mischievous.
Culhane: Theres a lot of working parts in the report
and, indeed, in the operation of An Garda Siochana.
So, I suppose, by summary of views that I had in
terms of the contents of the report, and I again, youve
said it several times before, but I mean there was a
history there, which, in relation to the college which
wasnt adequately explained.
Cullinane: Do you believe, one final question: And I
want to put this to Mr Kelly and Mr Barrett, do you
believe, Mr Kelly, when that letter was written and
when Mr Culhane said your report was
unprofessional, misleading and mischievous and
he went further and asked you to amend your
report, did you see that as a direct interference in
your report and an attempt to get you to either
water down or lessen the content of your report?
Niall Kelly: Yes.
Cullinane: Yes. And did you have a similar
experience, Mr Barrett?
Barrett: With respect to the letter of October 15, I
never saw the letter until yesterday.
Cullinane: But now that youve seen it, would you
see that as an attempt to undermine
Barrett: Absolutely, very deliberate collaring of
what I felt was my obligation to deal and illuminate
these matters which have long since been left to
continue.
Cullinane: And do you now see that as serious, Mr
Culhane, that we have the head of internal audit and
we have the head of human resources, both seeing it
in the same way that I can, that you tried to undermine
their work. We talked earlier about the circling of the
wagons, about, you said it yourself, things should be
kept inhouse, do you not see that you are part of the
problem? And that you, by what youve put in writing
and weve heard from two senior people, in civilian
roles in An Garda Siochana, they felt you were
trying to interfere with their work.
Sean Fleming (chair): Just answer that last
question.
Culhane: I dont see, I dont see myself as being part
of the problem. I think I see myself as being part of the
solution because of the actions that I have taken on
the issues identified in the 2008 report. I had no desire
to undermine the professionalism of these two
gentlemen. Niall Kelly is an independent auditor and
he produces his reports without any, in terms of,
without any need for any reference to me. So, I dont
see that Id be interfering with his independence.
Cullinane: You tried to get him to alter his report.
You threatened him with legal action. You said if
he did not amend his reports, you would seek
legal advice and you would take legal action and
youre sitting there telling me that you did not try
to interfere with the work of internal audit. Its
incredible for you to say that. How could you
threaten legal action against the head of internal
audit, almost unprecedented, and then say that
wasnt an attempt by me to interfere with the
work. You cannot say that Mr Culhane.
Fleming: Mr Culhane, today, in front of the PAC, do
you still stand over that sentence: in omitting
these acts, the report is unprofessional,
misleading and mischievous today, the 31st of May
2017, would you agree with that today?
Culhane: On reflection, chairman, I probably, it
was an unwise use of those words.
Fleming: Would you like to withdraw that
statement?
Culhane: I think it would be, yes
Fleming: Because before the committee, that
statement is in writing before this committee.
Culhane: Yes I would like to withdraw it yes..
Fleming: Youll withdraw that statement then?
Culhane: Yes.
Fleming: Thats helpful.
Meanwhile

Labour TD Alan Kelly at PAC earlier today

Later

Barrett: in the period that had elapsed from July [2015] when I
originally prepared a report to go to Mr [Michael] Howard, through Mr
[Cyril] Dunne, and were reaching now into the third week of
September and I have concerns that the thing is not being treated
in the multi-million off-balance sheet as Michael Culhane
described it activity that is continuing. It is an active, ongoing
enterprise within an organisation that I have line responsibility for.
And so, in setting it out very clearly, I do go through the very specific
issues that Fennelly raises in relation to what a Section 41[which
provides that anything of significant relevance should be brought to the
attention of the Minister for Justice] is intended to do and how it is that
this applies absolutely to the matters of gravity that I dealt with in my
report of the 6th of July. And I was very deliberately putting it on the
record.

Alan Kelly: How would you see Mr [Cyril] Dunn reacted?

Barrett: I think that question could be better put to Mr Dunne but

Kelly: Of course, but I want your opinion.

Barrett: My opinion is that we were at that point into a situation


where the past history that Id become aware of was repeating
itself, as in the 2008 report, nothing was done, it continued. I felt
there was a danger, quite frankly that my report of July 2015 was
going to go the way of its predecessors.
Kelly: Ok.

Meanwhile

Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy

Later

Catherine Murphy: Another thing that strikes me, Id like to clear a few
of these things first, one thing that strikes me is: the idea that you
were keeping contemporaneous notes, that you were referencing
some of your meetings with Mr [head of legal affairs Ken] Ruane,
the idea that the internal auditor [Niall Kelly] is sending himself
registered, it is yourself Mr Kelly...?

John Barrett: Oh, I do that, I do that.

Murphy: I mean that strikes me as a self protection mechanism.


Would that be correct?

Barrett: Lets look at what weve recently read in our newspapers,


concerning whether records were destroyed or
whether telecommunications equipment survived. I was very
conscious of the fact is that what I was dealing with here was well
known, understood for a number of years and the curiosity in my
mind was why was this not dealt with expeditiously?
Murphy: Yeah.

Barrett: Relating to material sums of money, in the public vote, in the


period 2004 2014, its 12.4million of taxpayers money

This afternoon.

At the Public Accounts Committee.

Fianna Fil TD Marc Mac Sharry brought the committees attention to


correspondence that was only made available to it this morning.

The correspondence is an email thread between Chief Financial Officer


at An Garda Siochana Michael Culhane who was head of finance in
2010 and Eugene Banks, of the Garda division in from the
Department of Justice.

It also includes emails from George Reddan, of PwC, to Mr Culhane.

After Mr Mac Sharry brought attention to these emails, An Garda


Siochanas Chief Administration Officer Joe Nugent told the PAC that he
had received the material yesterday afternoon, even though it was
datestamped as having been opened on June 14.

He said, because of this, Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan hadnt


had a chance to read the correspondence in advance the meeting.

First of all, Mr Mac Sharry explained that it was John Barrett, head of
HR, who sent the emails to Mr Nugent

Marc Mac Sharry: So basically, this document, as I said, I just got it, I
didnt see sight of it, I got wind that there may be a document in relation
to charitable status. I asked for it. And this was produced. OK.

Now for the record, the cover note, which I want to read into the record,
its to the Chief Administration Officer [Joe Nugent], its from John
Barrett, its dated the 13th of June 2017. And notwithstanding the fact
that we appreciate that the CAO has said that he didnt see it until
yesterday, the 19th. It is the date stamp from his office, from the 14th of
June.

So somebody read it, in your [CAO Joe Nugent] office to the extent that
they stamped it and if you were away or otherwise engaged, Im sure
theres somebody with delegated responsibility in your office, that if
something is important to pass on up the line, the Commissioner can
clarify that.

Anyway, I want to read this:

I refer to a hand-delivered document, an Oireachtas envelope, which


arrived at the gate this morning. Ive no idea of its provenance. It was
collected by Mr Paul Flood from my office and this is a copy of the
content which you may wish to note.

Id respectfully suggest that you draw the attention of all the various
correspondence to this document and provide them with copies, as a
matter of courtesy.
Further, it seems to me, that the Public Accounts Committee may have
an interest in the content and I will again respectfully suggest that this
be brought to the attention of the PAC immediately.

So, let the record show, it wasnt brought to our attention, we


brought it to our own attention. Anyway, moving on, theres one
specific small email which does follow on from correspondence
between PwC and Mr Culhane, in 2010, in relation to matters of
taxation and all of the issues before us here today. And then, he, in
turn, was obviously, corresponding or in contact with Eugene
Banks of the Garda division of the Department of Justice.

And one email I find extremely troubling. Its one of the 5th of July
2010 at 17.26pm which seems to be a response to Eugene Banks
of the Garda division, who is inquiring had there been any
developments on the matter raised below. In particular, the
relationship between the [Garda] College and the companies and
the legal entity of the college itself.

So, Mr Culhanes response was:

Eugene..there have been no further developments. To muddy things


up I included charitable status for the college in the letter to
the Revenue dated 28th of May but, as you can see it was not
included in the response.

Now, we dont have the response but the phrase to muddy things up
in the context of all the evidence weve received so far, the conflict
evidence from certain parties, I think, for a Finance Director, to use a
phrase to muddy things up in the context of any correspondence
with the Revenue Commissioners, and be informing Eugene
Banks of the Department of Justice, seems to suggest an awful
lot, Commissioner. And while I appreciate, and I take your word, that
you have seen this document for the first time in recent minutes, whats
your response to such language?

OSullivan: Well I think the first thing I would have to do because,


deputy, what I want to put on record, Im not in the habit of quickly
scanning documents and then arriving at a conclusion. So I would
like to have time to examine the document. My initial response is the
language is unusual but I dont know, Im not aware of the context of
either these discussions or this email correspondence arose.

Mac Sharry: Well, my reading of it, having read it, and perhaps I had a
little more time because it was handed out before the break is that there
was an attempt on the basis of a suggestible law that existed in England
by PwC that the Gardai may have some grounds to build a case I see
heads shaking in the background over there, I dont know whether thats
relevant to what Im saying or something else. But thats, the letter, Ill
quote that, because it concerns me, so Ill just mention the relevant part
about charitable status. This is from George Reddan, of PwC writing
to Michael Culhane, its a response to his letter to PwC on the 23rd
of March which we dont have a copy of. In terms, Ill just read this
quote:

As we discussed, there may be a possibility of arguing that all of the


investment income this is the cash income from shops, restaurants
and so on is effectively being applied for charitable purposes. There
is a judicial authority in the UK that the expression charitable
purposes includes the furtherance and supervision of educational
schools and universities, and so on.

So thats just one thing, and then we have, following this


correspondence, the language being used, to muddy things up,
Iincluded charitable status for the college in the letter to the
Revenue, so I mean I dont know but, without prejudice to the answer
to this question, I think as Accounting Officer, what waters were
we trying to muddy?

OSullivan: Deputy, couple of points, Id like to make, first of all, the


nodding in the background was in relation to the fact that, obviously and
this isnt a fault of the secretariat or indeed any of the committee
members but obviously this document was aware, or was available to
the committee prior to the break. And perhaps if we had it prior to the
break, we would have been able to make some inquiries during the time
of the break. First thing..

Mac Sharry: One of your officials can take the time to go out because
youll be the the only one talking and they can make those inquiries

OSullivan: Yes

Alan Kelly: Sorry, just for clarification, the clerk has informed me that
you were given it, you were giving it before the break.

OSullivan: Well, sorry, my apologies, maybe some of us had it and


some of us didnt so thats my apologies. Secondly..

Mac Sharry: In any event, there are six of ye, so Im sure one can go
out and make whatever calls need to be made.
OSullivan: Secondly, I note that the date of the email correspondence
is around the last piece that youve just quoted, deputy, is the 5th of July
2010

Kelly: Commissioner, we actually I think the document from ye


originally so, you had it

Mac Sharry: The document was provided to us by one of your


delegation here today, Commissioner.

Joe Nugent: Chair I explained at the start that I received it yesterday


so it hadnt

Mac Sharry: You received it yesterday but, in fairness, I mean.. why is


it stamped the 14th of June, if you received it yesterday. In terms of the
paper trail, albeit may have been that you may not have been in the
office, somebody else must have authorisation to open your mails,
stamp it accordingly and so on. It says the 14th of June which is 6 days
from today.

Kelly: Commissioner, continue..

OSullivan: Ok, Im making the point, deputy, the email


correspondence, the piece that you quoted is from the 5th of July
2010. Prior to that, its the 6th of April 2010 and so the period of
time, the point Im making between June and July 2010 actually, I
am not sure and I am not aware of what was going on, I was not
Accounting Officer. So

Later

OSullivan: Mr Nugent informs me he doesnt believe that the


disclosure in relation to Revenue, in relation to the College, is in
relation to other matters but, leaving that aside, because I have not
had an opportunity, as Accounting Officer to see or study this
documentationI find that quite unsatisfactory, that Im not in a
position to assist the committee in a fulsome way and forthrightly
because Im disadvantaged by only seeing this documentation
nowI also want to be in a position to consider what needs to be
done with this document, having read and considered the content of
it.

Meanwhile
Readers should note that, during the PAC meeting of May 31,
2017, Mr Culhane said that, in 2009, he wrote to the Revenue
Commissioners seeking charitable status for the Sportsfield Company
Ltd.

At the PAC meeting on June 14, 2017, Chief Superintendent Anne


Marie Mahon told the PAC that the Sportsfield Company Ltd had
charitable status and, therefore, no tax liability.

Labour TD Alan Kelly said he found it alarming that the Garda


Commissioner could not express confidence in everyone on her
management team.

YESTERDAY THE GARDA Commissioner appeared before


the Public Accounts Committee again to answer further
questions about financial irregularities at the garda college
in Templemore.
She revealed to the committee that there is now reasonable
cause to suspect fraud has been committed in relation to one
account connected to the college and that large sums of
money are involved.
This was the fourth session of the PAC tasked with delving
into the minefield that is Templemores financial structure
and accountability for what happened. To the dismay of
committee members, the previous three sessions were
dominated by contradictions and very clear tension between
senior managers in the organisation.
Labour TD Alan Kelly, who chaired yesterdays PAC session,
has previously asked witnesses from An Garda Sochna
whether they have confidence in their management team.
Most said they did, but two head of internal audit Niall
Kelly and executive director of HR John Barrett said they
had questions and reservations.

Yesterday Kelly took the opportunity to ask this same


question of the Garda Commissioner. Unlike some of her
employees who appeared before the committee, Nirn
OSullivan did not answer with a simple Yes or No,
prompting the Labour TD to ask her eight times in total.
Heres how she answered:
Alan Kelly: Ive asked this question numerous times
inside in this committee so Ill ask you the same thing.
Do you have confidence in everybody whos at senior
management level within the Garda Sochna, given the
level of contradictions, the evidence thats been given, the
dare I say it almost hostility that some witnesses who are
working together have with one another?
Do you have full confidence in all of their ability and their
capacity to work together?
Nirn OSullivan: Deputy, my job is to make the most
effective use and the most cohesive use of the team that I
have, so, our focus, as the executive here and as the senior
leadership team is to ensure that we provide cohesion to the
team.
Were doing that in a number of ways because it is very
important, these are very important people positioned in the
organisation and were doing that in a number of ways,
including working very closely with the department and the
policing authority in terms of getting additional professional
skillsets in place to support the team.
Alan Kelly:
Okay, can you answer my question now, please?
Nirn OSullivan:
Well deputy, I have to work, with the team I have and get the
best out of them.
Alan Kelly: Okay, third time. Will you answer my
question, please?
Nirn OSullivan: Deputy, I work every day with the
team I have to get the very best out of them.
Alan Kelly:
Okay, fourth time, will you answer my question please?
Nirn OSullivan:
Deputy, I have confidence that we are working to get the
very best out of the team.
Alan Kelly: Okay, so Ill repeat it. Do you have confidence
in every single member of senior management in An Garda
Sochna who [are] in current positions and the majority
of them have been witnesses here have you full confidence
in each and every one of them and their capacity to work
together?
Nirn OSullivan: Deputy, with respect, I think there
could be two separate questions. Capacity is one thing and
getting the team to work together as a cohesive collective
team is the second one.
Alan Kelly: Well, you can break it down whichever way
you want. Ill make it simplier for you so.
Do you have full confidence in them in their roles? First
question.
Secondly, have you full confidence every member of your
senior management team has the capacity to do their job?
And thirdly, have you confidence, collectively, that they can
all work together to the best of An Garda Sochna and in
the best interests of the Irish public?
Nirn OSullivan:
Okay, well, maybe if I take the last one first. Yes I am
confident that we are working together to create a cohesive
effective team. I think that is greatly assisted by the capacity
issue, which means that we have new people brought onto
the team in recent times. Theres new skillsets, different
perspectives, and I think thats a very positive thing.
And I have confidence also, going forward, that we will and
can create a cohesive effective team and I think that will be
very much supported by the skillsets that we are working to
bring into and onto the team.
Alan Kelly, at this stage on his seventh attempt at asking the
question, told the Commissioner the was not getting a clear
answer.
Ive seen contradictions all over the place, I have seen
issues in relation to interpersonal relationships, we all have
here, in fairness and evidence thats contradictory. And I
think its imperative that you honestly answer that you have
full confidence in each and every one of them given what has
transpired in front of the public accounts [committee] on
this issue, he told her.
Nirn OSullivan: Well, deputy, if I put it like this, and
maybe, if I look back on 2014 to now. We have worked, its
only very recently as in the last couple of weeks that we
actually have anywhere close to full complement of a
management team.
In fact it was not until January of this year that we actually
have a fully functioning executive. And thats due to
nobodys fault here. But the reality is, that what we have to
do since 2014 is build up a team and build up an effective
team. And any organisation that is going through the type of
deep structural change, cultural change and reform that we
are going through, you will always have tensions within
teams.
And our job is to make sure that we pull together that team
into a cohesive effective team. And I am confident that we
are doing that. And I am confidence that the members of te
team, supported by the appropriate skillsets, will be in a
position to continue to provide effective leadership.

Alan Kelly: Okay, so you have confidence in every single


person?
Nirn OSullivan: I have confidence in the collective
ability of the team.
Alan Kelly: That doesnt mean you have confidence in
every individual. I find that absolutely alarming.
THE GARDA COMMSISIONER has confirmed there is
reasonable cause to suspect fraud has been committed in
relation to a garda bank account connected to the college in
Templemore.
Appearing before the Dil Public Accounts Committee
(PAC), Nirn OSullivan confirmed she received a report
yesterday from the organisations head of internal audit,
Niall Kelly, which contained concerning revelations about a
bank account in Cabra, north Dublin.
She said Kelly had informed her that he had cause to
suspect there may be some suspicious activity around this
account.
He has suspicions fraud may have been committed, she
said. There had been reports suggesting the amount of
money involved in this account could be as much as
100,000. The Commissioner confirmed at its peak it was
in the region of 90,000 plus.
She also confirmed that European funds were involved.
TD Marc MacSharry pushed the Commissioner to reveal the
names of the signatories on this account, which she
repeatedly refused to do, telling the committee that
individuals should be afforded due process.
Thats not acceptable, MacSharry told her, adding that
the public are watching this.

Though OSullivan could not be convinced to name anyone,


she did say a retired senior officer was involved.
She said, considering there was potential fraud involved,
this report she received yesterday has been referred to the
Garda Siochna Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) for
investigation.
Convenient
Mac Sharry said it was very convenient to be able to hand
this over to Gsoc ahead of the PAC session. Catherine
Murphy also pointed out that this referral was giving the
Commissioner an out when it came to answering questions.
OSullivan denied this was the case. At no stage was there
any intention to do what you suggest, she said.
I want to be very clear at all times that we acted in absolute
good faith and with propriety
There were further questions about a letter provided to the
PAC by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The letter,
sent by the Commissioner to the C&AG on 31 June 2015
contained a line which stated that she had disclosed all
instances of loss, fraud or irregularity that she was aware
of.
Four days beforehand, OSullivan had been informed about
the financial issues at Templemore garda college. She told
the PAC that she did not have much information at the time,
adding that it would have been different if she knew then
what she knows now.
However, the C&AG Seamus McCarthy said that if there was
a question around potential irregularities, he felt he should
have been notified, even with minimal details.
Difference of opinions
Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy was one of a
number of committee members to question the
Commissioners comments about interpersonal issues
between the director of finance Michael Culhane and head of
HR John Barrett, who had first raised concern about these
irregularities and the fact that they had not been addressed
years ago.
It emerged in the last PAC meeting that Culhane wrote a
letter to the Commissioner and other high ranking garda
strongly criticising Barretts approach to this issue, citing
irrational behaviour on the HR directors part, and even
questioning whether he should be investigated for a
potential breach of the Official Secrets Act.
OSullivan told the committee that when she received this
letter from Culhane, it appeared to her that there were
interpersonal differences of opinion between two
individuals at play. She did concede Culhane had used
very strong language in his letter.
Murphy said she found it difficult to accept that this was
simple a dispute between two people in the organisation.
There was, after this, an awkward exchange between
OSullivan and Labours Alan Kelly, who chaired todays
committee session. Kelly asked the Commissioner eight
times, in different ways, whether she had full confidence in
each individual on her management team.
Her final response on this was: I have confidence in
collective ability of the team.

So you dont have confidence in the individuals. I find that


absolutely alarming, Kelly said.
The committee will reconvene at 7pm this evening with the
Commissioner, along with representatives from the
Policing Authority and the Department of Justice.

Updated 6.15pm
TODAY SENIOR GARDA and civil servants in the
organisation attended the third session of the Public
Accounts Committee to examine financial irregularities at
the garda college in Templemore.
These sessions, aimed at establishing how these
irregularities happened and what has been done to fix the
issues, has been overshadowed by tensions between the
forces senior staff.
Last month, it emerged executive director of finance and
services Michael Culhane wrote a letter to the Commissioner
and other senior garda questioning whether head of HR
John Barrett may be guilty of a criminal offence in posting
documents relating to Templemores finances to himself.
In todays session, Deputy Commissioner Donal O Cualin
spoke frankly about the tension between these two men. He
said two they were two key people in the organisation with
responsibility for fixing these issues.
As was shown in here in the last meeting, there is a clash,
there was a clash, between those two people. There is a lack
of trust between those two people.
Cyril Dunne, former Chief Administrative Officer, also spoke
of consistent tensions between the two.
The brief two-hour meeting
Barrett, at the first PAC hearing on this topic, had also
clashed with Commissioner Nirn OSullivan, when he
openly contradicted her evidence about a meeting they had
in relation to these issues.
OSullivan described the meeting of 27 July 2015 as brief,
while Barrett said it last two hours. Today Dunne told the
AC it lasted up to an hour, while O Cualin said it was
definitely longer than five minutes.
Im glad we didnt clear that one up anyway lads because
its seriously bloodywell incredible that there is such a range
of views coming from the same meeting, Labours Alan
Kelly told them.
He described this meeting as pivotal, adding that it would
go down in history.
There were also criticisms from Sinn Fin TD Mary Lou
McDonald of accountant Barry McGee, who compiled a
report on these irregularities in Templemore back in 2008.
In an email written to John Barrett in 2015, McGee wrote of
the potential risk to the reputation of the organisation.
He also referenced possible ramifications including the
accounting officer being called before the PAC. McGee went
on in his email to discuss solving the problem quietly,
without risking exposure.
Thats what was going on, McDonald said, adding that this
was clearly the strategy employed by the organisation in
dealing with the issue.
I cant get out of it
The committee heard this morning from Assistant
Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, who told members
she never benefitted from being a director of the Sportsfield
company set up at the garda college in Templemore.
McMahon is one of a number of members of the
organisation listed as a director of this company, which was
set up to fund the development of garda sporting facilities.
Sportsfield Co was established in 1983 and it emerged in the
recent internal audit report on the colleges finances that
surplus money from the garda restaurant was transferred to
the company and then onto other entities including
100,000 to the Garda Boat Club.
McMahon said she became a director of Sportsfield in 2011
when she took on her post over the gardacollege.

I am a director by virtue of my role in An Garda Sochna,


she said.

She stressed that her role as a director of this company did


not and does not impact materially on my role in An Garda
Sochna.
It was on that basis, she explained, that she had never
submitted a return to the Standards in Public Office
Commission to declare this directorship. McMahon told the
committee she has retrospectively made a declaration since
issues were brought to light in the recent audit report.
Kelly said the McMahons comment about the directorship
having no impact on her job was completely irrelevant.
He said it was still necessary to meet the requirements of
law by making a declaration.
I got no benefit from it good, bad or different, she said,
adding that she had no interest in continuing as a director.
Im still a director, I want to get out of it I cannot get out of
it.
McMahon has been asked by Chief Administrative Officer
(CAO) Joe Nugent to remain as director until the company
is wound up.
This is the reality
Over the course of this mornings hearing, the assistant
commissioner also revealed that no tax returns were filed for
Sportsfield Co for 2015 or 2016.
She explained that all but one of the directors are no longer
in the garda college and that had impacted on the filing of
returns.
This isnt an excuse, by the way, but this is the reality, she
said.
McMahon said these returns are now being compiled with a
view to being able to file them in a number of weeks.
Unacceptable
There were criticisms from a number of members of the
committee today of former Chief Administrative Officer
Cyril Dunnes failure to read the recent audit report before
appearing before them.
He told the committee that Nially Kelly, head of
garda internal audit and author of the recent explosive
report, had only sent him two pages of the report.
Mr Kelly said to me, wrote to me actually, that these were
the only two pages that had reference to me.
I find that unacceptable, Sinn Fin TD David Cullinane
told him.

It is treating us with contempt that you have not read that


report, the deputy later added.
For his part, Dunne said he believed he had acted properly
when first alerted to potential issues with the colleges
finances in 2015.
He told the committee that he informed the Garda
Commissioner in the first week of July that year that this
problem required further investigation. This does not tally
with the Commissioners evidence to the committee, that
she first learned of the issues on 27 July.
Cyril Dunne, former CAO in An Garda Sochna.
A working group was established with a view to
implementing recommendations made in previous reports
and Dunne raised the issues at a meeting of the audit
committee in September that year.
Seamus McCarthy, the Comptroller and Auditor General,
told the PAC that it is his view that his office should have
been made aware of these revelations in mid 2015. It had
been recommended by a number of senior civil servants that
this action be taken even before 2015 but that did not
happen.
THE HEAD OF human resources at An Garda Sochna has stepped down from a
committee tasked with the rollout of the forces new code of ethics.

John Barrett has been embroiled in an internal but now very public row with
his garda managers and other top civil servants in the organisation. The dispute
emerged during Public Accounts Committee sessions in discussions about
irregularities in the finances of the Garda College in Templemore.

In the first of these sessions, Barrett contradicted Garda Commission Nirn


OSullivan about a meeting they had in relation to these issues. She claimed it was
brief he told the committee it actually lasted two hours and presented them
with detailed notes he took during it.

More recently, it emerged the forces executive director of finance, Michael


Culhane, wrote a letter to the Commissioner in which he questioned whether
Barrett might be in breach of the Official Secrets Act in posting documents
relating to Templemores finances to himself. Barrett told the PAC last month
that he tried three times himself and four times through his solicitor to gain
access to internal documents relating to him.

When eventually released to him under the Freedom of Information Act, he said
85% was redacted. This letter about him was, however, handed over to the PAC in
its entirety and this is how Barrett first learned of it.

I discovered the existence of that letter almost a year to the day after it had been
written. The interesting inversion of trust that was presented to the committee
appals me. We requested, legitimately, a letter written about me that I had no
knowledge of, which alleges a potential criminal offence, he told the PAC.

Stepping down

Now, the Policing Authority has confirmed Barrett has stepped down from his
role in relation to the rollout of the forces new code of ethics, which was drawn
up by the authority.

The Irish Examiner first reported that following this latest revelation about
allegations of potential criminality on his part, Barrett felt unable to continue as a
representative on the Code of Ethics Committee.

Barrett was one of the designated garda representatives who has worked with this
committee since early last year. In a statement, the Policing Authority said
Barrett informed the committee he would be stepping down at its most recent
meeting on 8 June.

The committee expressed its appreciation to Mr Barrett for the work he had
done in relation to the code of ethics project to date, it added.

Tomorrow morning, top ranking garda and civil servants will field further
questions from the PAC about the garda colleges finances. The Garda
Commissioner will appear before the committee later this month.
THIS WEEK, TOP garda civil servants appeared back before
the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to face a grilling
about irregularities in the finances of the garda college in
Templemore.
There were a number of new revelations, including that
there are five tax numbers connected to the college and a
new internal audit is examining, among other things, a bank
account in north Dublin.
Appearing before the committee on Wednesday was:
John Barrett, executive director of human resources
and people. At the last PAC hearing, he openly
contradicted Commissioner Nirn OSullivan about a
meeting they had in relation to Templemores
financial irregularities.
Niall Kelly, head of internal audit. He conducted the
recent audit that revealed the extent of the financial
issues. Last time he appeared before the committee, he
said he felt he had been duped when given
assurances in 2011 that issues he identified would be
addressed.
Michael Culhane, executive director of finance and
services. A letter he wrote castigating Kelly was the
subject of media coverage last week.
Ken Ruane, head of legal affairs. He issued a letter to
the Commissioner urging her to inform the Minister
for Justice 15 months before she actually did so.
Joe Nugent, chief administrative officer.
Michael Howard, former chairman of the audit
committee.

The committee held two hours-long sessions here are


some of the main points we took away from them:
No evidence of offshore accounts has been found
(for now, anyway)
It was widely reported last week that the garda college may
have had offshore accounts. This was based on
correspondence from executive director of finance, Michael
Culhane to head of internal audit Niall Kelly in February this
year. In the letter, Culhane states Kelly told the colleges
administrator, Superintendent McCabe, that he believed the
college had offshore accounts.
The first thing I would say about those comments is that
they are hearsay, Kelly told the committee.
Mr. Culhane was not at any meetings in the college that I
attended. I would not be doing my job properly if I had not
broached the possibility, given the number of bank accounts
that were presented and that evolved from the audit, that
some of them could have been offshore. At the end of the
day, I did not find any offshore bank accounts but I had to
broach that possibility and I had to discuss that with
management in the college.
He again clarified later that he has no knowledge that there
are any offshore bank accounts.
Some of the forces top-level civil servants are
seriously peeved about how theyve been treated
TD Catherine Connolly raised the issue of a letter Culhane
sent to the Commissioner and other senior garda about
head of HR John Barrett.
In the letter sent in October 2015, he suggested Barrett
should be examined under the Official Secrets Act because
he posted documents relating to the colleges finances to
himself.
I have concerns in terms of the manner in which he was
treating confidential documents, he said.
I was concerned that there might be some leakage to the
press, but issues such as these should have been dealt with
as part of the formal process to send information to the
internal auditor or Comptroller and Auditor General, he
later told the committee.
Barrett revealed that he tried seven times to get this
document and when it was eventually given to him through
a Freedom of Information request, some 85% was redacted.
He only saw it in full when it was given yesterday to the
committee.
interim report from Garda Internal Audit into financial procedures at the
Tipperary Garda College (between 2009 and 2016) released in March had stated
that no assurance could be given that those procedures were even adequate.

http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2017/03/interim-audit-
report-financial-procedures-in-the-garda-college.pdf

I discovered the existence of that letter almost a year to the


day after it had been written. The interesting inversion of
trust that was presented to the committee appals me. We
requested, legitimately, a letter written about me that I had
no knowledge of, which alleges a potential criminal offence,
he said.
Another letter Culhane wrote, this time to Niall Kelly,
referred to his audit report as unprofessional, misleading
and mischievous.
Both Barrett and Kelly said they felt there was an attempt to
undermine them as they attempted to bring these serious
issues to light.
This is not some kind of Orwellian, four legs good, two legs
bad those who wear uniforms, those who do not, Barrett
said.
It is nothing to do with that. This is a fundamental issue
about accountability around the public purse. We have an
obligation to come before the committee and tell it the truth.
Theres a management crisis in An Garda Sochna
Labour TD Alan Kelly made a point of asking each of the five
civil servants before the committee whether that had full
confidence in every member of the senior management team
in An Garda Sochna. Heres how it went
Joe Nugent: Yes
John Barrett: I have some reservations.
Alen Kelly: Mr. Barrett does not have full confidence in
senior management?
Barrett: I am very concerned about what I learned this
morning [about the letter relating to him], truthfully. It is
quite shocking. The Deputy is probably asking me the
question at a bad time.
Alan Kelly: I will take it that Mr. Barrett does not have full
confidence in senior management. Would Mr. Kelly like to
respond?
Niall Kelly: I would concur with Mr. Barrett.
Alan Kelly: Mr. Kelly does not have full confidence either?

Niall Kelly: There are some questions around it.


Alan Kelly: In terms of senior management, I am speaking
about the commissioners at senior level, and the Garda
Commissioner. Does Mr. Culhane have full confidence in
senior management?
Culhane: Yes
Alan Kelly: Mr Ruane?
Ken Ruane: Yes, deputy.
Niall Kelly later clarified that he had absolutely no
problem with the current Deputy Commissioner or the
current Commissioner.
Doors are being flung open, information is being
provided. There are no hindrances to me at the moment,
but in the past there were.
The committee still doesnt know exactly when the
Garda Commissioner knew about the issues
It was revealed to the committee that the first meeting of a
steering group established to examine these issues took
place on 2 July 2015. This does not tally with the
Commissioners comments to the committee recently. She
said the was first informed on the financial irregularities on
27 July that year and that she acted promptly and
established a steering group.
Barrett said he himself was at this meeting on 2 July and
Culhane backed him up.
This is very important. We now have a situation where the
Commissioner said she acted promptly after being informed
on 27 July, but we have Mr. Barrett giving conflicting
evidence stating that there was a meeting of the steering
group on 2 July. This group met for the first time not after
27 July, but on 2 July, Alan Kelly said.

Head of legal affairs Ken Ruane.


Head of legal affairs, Ken Ruane, then chipped in to say that
Barrett met with him on 30 June and told him he had
informed the chief administrative officer of his concerns
about Templemore and that the CAO had informed the
Commissioner.
Barrett confirmed he had been told that the Commissioner
knew of the issue, though he did not know to what degree.
He said then CAO Cyril Dunne could clarify this in his own
evidence to the committee next month.
Michael Howard also told the committee that he met the
Commissioner to discuss these issues on 16 June.
The meeting with the Commissioner, in brief terms,
probably took the form of a lecture by me on the contents of
the blue book, the manual on public financial procedures. I
took the information I had got from Mr Barrett and other
information from Mr Niall Kelly and I put it through what I
would call the blue book filter.
The Commissioner will, no doubt, be asked to explain the
conflicting evidence when she appears before the committee
again.
There are five tax numbers connected to the garda
college
TD Peter Burke asked how many revenue accounts there
were and was told by Nugent that there were five.
They are the main Garda Sochna tax number, Sportsfield,
the restaurant, the bar and the shop, he said.
Burke then asked him if they were all tax compliant.

We are in discussions with the Revenue Commissioners at


the moment, Nugent replied. He also said some of the
entities have been wound up the bar, for example, is
closed.
He later told the committee that up-to-date returns had
been filed for each of these numbers. But he said Revenue
will determine whether they are compliant or not.
A new internal audit is examining a bank account in
Cabra
This issue was raised by Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan who
asked Barrett if such an account existed. Barrett said it has
been suggested to him that it might and that he believed it
was an AIB acount.
He said he did not know what it was for but he had given
details to Kelly for further review.
My understanding in relation to an account that may have
made its way to Cabra is more related to EU funding, Barret
said.
Does Mr. Barrett think the EU funding is going where it is
supposed to go?
I do not know is the short answer.
My understanding is that some of those proceeds are not
being spent. They are being spent on non-core Garda issues,
if one likes, and the moneys are not going where they should
be going, Madigan commented.
TD Catherine Murphy also briefly questioned Kelly about
money being sent to a bank account in Dublin which was
under the control of a former senior garda officer.
I would rather not answer that question because it concerns
an ongoing audit, he told the committee.
Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan will appear before
the committee again next month, along with some of the
civil servants questioned this week.
A SERIES OF Garda documents which have been released to
the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by the force detail a
level of infighting among senior officers over the fallout
from the ongoing Templemore College finances scandal.
According to the leaked documents which have been seen
by TheJournal.ie, there have been tensions between several
senior garda for a number of years over financial
management at the training school.
An interim report from Garda Internal Audit into financial
procedures at the Tipperary Garda College (between 2009
and 2016) released in March had stated that no assurance
could be given that those procedures were even adequate.
The newly-revealed documents show accusations flying
between various department heads within the force,
including claims that the head of the Garda Internal Audit
said the problems could even lead to people being arrested.
The college already stood accused of running a complex
series of 50 bank accounts, operated by staff with little or no
financial training, with those accounts used for unclear
purposes.
Examples of questionable practices discovered by the audit
include the operation of a Garda Laundry Account, which
was used to fund expenses such as jewellery, flowers, and
staff bonuses, and 125,000 worth of rent being collected by
garda on a farm that was not owned by the force.

Michael Culhane
Niall Kelly
Included in the dossier is a letter from Executive Director of
Finance and Services Michael Culhane which castigates the
head of Garda Internal Audit Niall Kelly who was the man
behind Februarys interim report. In that letter, Culhane
takes issue with a number of statements which he attributes
to Kelly. He describes these references as outrageous.
Culhane also notes that he had made a formal complaint
against his fellow senior officer, Executive Director of
Human Resources John Barrett. Earlier this month, at a
meeting of the PAC, Barrett had openly contradicted Garda
Commissioner Nirn OSullivan in her presence about a
meeting they had in relation to the financial governance
issues at the college in 2015.
Culhane further asserts in his letter that 30,000 had been
wasted on consultancy of no obvious value.
The dossier to PAC, which also details documents
concerning the ill-defined Garda Sportsfield Co, one of many
companies set up to handle funds at the College in the
2000s, further suggests that Kelly had been in the process of
compiling a report on the college for some time, and had
been trying to engage in discussions and get management
responses from the Finance Directorate in relation to them.

One note from then Commissioner Fachtna Murphy dated


as far back as May 2008 suggests that:
While the investigation (of the colleges finances) to date
has not revealed any misappropriation of funds,
nevertheless I am concerned at the issues disclosed and
clearly these matters have to be regularised as a matter of
urgency.

John Barrett
Another set of emails detail how the publication of an
internal audit of the college was delayed after a lot of tooing
and frooing for a period of three months in 2010 to allow
enough time to sort out the taxation and any other
financial issues.
Regarding this delay, Kelly told the PAC earlier this month
that he was duped into believing action would be taken
with regard to his concerns.
I think there was a different culture at that stage. I think
there was a culture of circling the wagons and I got caught
trying to bang into the wagons, he said.
The documents, which show correspondence between
various figures in garda management over a number of
years, includes a letter referenced by Independent TD
Catherine Connolly during that same hearing on 4 May.
The Galway deputy said that garda management had
discovered a letter, written by former deputy commissioner
Nacie Rice in September 2009, related to concerns about
financial management.
After reading it, Connolly said: Am I over the top when I
read this and draw the conclusion that it explains why
nothing was done between 2008 and a few years later? This
is the very reason, because the man in charge of the college
said, Feck off, this is our money, that is, this money is from
the government, through the Vote system.
In that letter, Rice states that in considering the financial
irregularities at Templemore:
It is important to point out that all of the named companies
and committees were formed at a time when there was no
money made available by the state to develop and improve
the welfare and sporting facilities for those young people
joining the Garda Sochna and for which far-seeing people
primarly attached to the Garda College saw a huge need.
The only means at the time to develop and improve the
social and sporting culture was by the formation of the said
committees and companies, he continues.
There is no suggestion that any funds generated were used
for any other purpose. Indeed the monies collected in these
funds were contributed either directly or indirectly by all
members who use the college as students, probationers and
by those attending various courses.
For these reasons I strongly believe that any surplus money
does not belong to the State but rather is owned by members
of AGS from whom they were collected and I equally hold
that any money cannot be used except for the welfare and
development of facilities for members at the Garda College.
However, he did add that he supported the notion that the
various committees should be re-invigorated and an
examination carried out to see if the various welfare
committees still have currency.
The documents are now due to be examined further by
members of the Public Accounts Committee.
MY GOODNESS, YOU are officers of the law and trained
detectives I am shocked.
This was TD Mary-Lou McDonalds reprimand of Garda
Commissioner Nirn OSullivan and her Deputy
Commissioner Donal O Cualin as the Oireachtas Public
Accounts Committee (PAC) tried to nail down why serious
irregularities in the finances of the Garda College were not
addressed before now.
Her outburst followed a bizarre exchange in which the
organisations Executive Director of Human Resources,
John Barrett, openly contradicted OSullivan about a
meeting they had in relation to these issues in 2015.
These irregularities included 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, which was described by one
TD today as embezzlement.

In the more than five-hour hearing, the Commissioner told


politicians that she first became aware of the extent of the
issues when she received a report with recommendations
from her head of legal affairs on 28 July that year.
Prior to that, on 27 July there was a very brief conversation
in a room after meeting in Templemore in which Mr Barrett
raised issues around work he was doing.
The meeting was over two hours its in the minutes,
Barrett interjected. He had become aware of audits from
2008 and 2010 that identified accounting irregularities and
flagged them with his chief administrative officer. He had
then compiled a report bringing the contents of these two
audits together.
My memory is that it was a brief meeting, the
Commissioner commented, in response to his contradiction.
At this point Sinn Fins McDonald asked for a short break
for OSullivan to read Barretts minutes, noting that a two
hour meeting is not brief.

The executive director of HR went on to explain that his


detailed notes included believe it or not, the order in which
people came into the room. This meeting began, he said, at
5.20pm.
I left the meeting at 19.37 and I was the first to leave.
This is deeply problematic, McDonald told garda
managers, before asking Deputy Commissioner O Cualin,
from his recollection, how long this meeting was.
I just note it was a very long day in the college, was his
response.
My goodness, you are officers of the law and trained
detectives I am shocked, the Sinn Fin TD hit back.
My memory was that it was not a formal meeting, we were
having some tea in the reception room, the Commissioner
said.
Embezzlement
OSullivan and her management colleague had been
summoned by the PAC to answer questions about a recent
damning audit report on finances at the college.

In its report, the forces internal audit department said it


could offer no assurance that the internal management and
control systems in place to manage the finances at the Garda
College are adequate. It also described a control account
called Sportsfield Co as a corporate veil and revealed a
laundry account was used to pay for gifts, entertainment
and society fees.
Members of the committee were left frustrated as the
answer to question after question was, essentially, we dont
know.
Garda management was not clear about who had made
certain vital decisions after issues were identified as far back
as 2008, though the Commissioner promised work is being
done to find this out.

It seems to me there were attempts made by people within


the garda college to frustrate the work of GIAS [Garda
Internal Audit Section], TD David Cullinane commented.
Later, Marc MacSharry suggested the transfer of 100,000
from Templemores funds to the Garda Boat Club was
embezzlement. Several other members of the committee
asked the Commissioner whether there were grounds to
support the fact that a crime was committed.
I have asked the people who have conducted the audit to
date if there is anyone in the line management stream all
the way from the chief administrative officer, Mr Barrett, all
the way down, or Mr Kelly, who conducted the audit report
who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime has
been committed at this point. I have been informed that
there are no such grounds, she told the committee.
Executive director of HR John Barrett, however, said it was
too early to say.
Duped
And the forces head of audit, Niall Kelly, revealed he had
sought copies of the 2008 audit of Templemores accounts
that year and in 2009 but he did not receive them.
He said he brought up this issue with management at the
time and in 2011 he noted this in a report to then
Commissioner Martin Callinan. Kelly told the committee he
later removed this paragraph from the final version of the
report, having received assurances that the issues would be
addressed. He said he regretted this decision.
In hindsight, I would say I probably shouldnt have taken
the assurances that were provided to me.
Later, when asked whether he felt he had been duped,
Kelly said he did.
He told the committee he has never had a full staffing
complement, as he was building his team right before
recruitment moratorium kicked in. It should be at 11 even
now after additions to the team it is at 8.
The Garda Commissioner said an expansion of this section
of the organisation had been approved and there are
discussions now with the Policing Authority with a view to
starting recruitment for the necessary skilled staff.
At the end of the more than five-hour hearing, the
committees chair Alan Kelly described it succinctly as
extraordinary, incredible and frankly unbelievable.
I do not feel there is a unified team here, and I dont have
confidence the issues are being dealt with.
A LONG-AWAITED REPORT into the management of the
finances of Templemore training college in Co Tipperary,
the main training facility for aspiring garda, has delivered a
damning assessment of that management.
The forces internal audit department says in its report
(covering the period January 2009 until March 2016, and
which can be read here) that it can offer no assurance that
the internal management and control systems in place to
manage the finances at the Garda College are adequate.
Specifically, the report concludes that:
No assurance can be given that financial controls at the
college are compliant with either the Public Financial
Procedures or the gardas own Garda Finance Code
Limited assurance can be given that the relevant
financial controls are in compliance with Public
Procurement Legislation
Reasonable assurance can be given that staff costs, the
management of vehicles, and the College Imprest Account (a
sort of petty cash account for financial accounting) are
managed to a high standard.
Nirn O'Sullivan
Source: Mark Stedman/Rollingnews.ie
The report has been a long time coming. An April 2008
report by the forces Finance Directorate identified many of
the issues of concern that are detailed in todays release,
fully nine years later. Its publication looks set to pile yet
more pressure on Commissioner Nirn OSullivan in the
wake of the Garda breathalyser farrago revealed last week.
OSullivan has repeatedly described the shortcomings in
management at the college as legacy issues.
Recommendations
The main findings and recommendations of the report are:
1 Garda staff assigned to administrate the college had no
training in or experience of administration and had no
knowledge of public financial procedures
2 All bank accounts assigned to the college, bar the Imprest
account, should be closed
3 All land and buildings at Templemore should be
transferred to the Office of Public Works (OPW)
4 All rent collected at the nearby Dromad Farm site (which
was initially to be developed as a tactical training
centre which never saw the light of day following the
financial crash) between 2009 and 2013 (125,000)
should likewise be transferred to the OPW, which first
purchased the site in 2007
5 The gardas statement of internal financial control for
2015 should be amended to show that the college was
not compliant with public procedures
Other technical recommendations are made regarding both
required expert financial staffing at the college and the
dissolution of the Garda College Sportsfield Co Ltd (a
control account which pops up throughout the report and
described as a corporate veil), while Garda staff who were
directors of that entity are required to correct the public
record concerning ethics in public office.
The report makes no recommendations as to whether or not
the Minister for Justice should be consulted regarding the
reports findings, with the internal audit function saying that
it is not in a legally competent position to advise upon that
action.

Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland


It further states that training regarding public financial
procedures must be instigated, and that it should be given to
senior garda also as part of their professional development
Laundry account
The report details how the Dromad Farm rental income was
used for miscellaneous expenditure in 2010 (such as 440
for entertainment) and was also used to cross-subsidise the
Sportsfield Co, the company that was used by Garda
management as an integral part of the college operation.
The 125,000 that was collected in rent on the farm was
collected and lodged to the Garda Restaurant account,
rather than being transferred to the OPW, the legal owner of
the land.
The Sportsfield Co is described by the report as a corporate
veil, or a construct created to separate corporate entities.
The 50 bank accounts discovered by the audit with
connections to the college, and the many transactions in and
out of those accounts, created a non-transparent system of
accounting according to the report.
Perhaps the least transparent instance documented in the
report is the existence of the Garda Laundry Account.
This account was funded by 0.20 per day per student
which was then charged to the Garda restaurant before
being transferred to the account.
While the account may have been titled Laundry, more
than one third of its transactions in 2008 (over 59,000 in
total prior to the accounts closure) had nothing to do with
cleaning clothes.
Examples of the expenditure documented during that period
include:
Amount owed by GAA club 5,527
Contribution to Parish Clergy 2,150
Staff Bonus 500
Jewellery and Gifts 300

Expenditure of 'Laundry' account during 2008


Source: An Garda Sochna
Click here to view a larger image
Reaction
Sinn Fin TD David Cullinane has this afternoon described
the reports findings as incredible.
Cullinane, a member of the Public Accounts Committee
(PAC), said that the findings cannot be allowed to be passed
off as a legacy issue.
It comes at a time when public trust in An Garda Sochana
is at an all-time low, he said.
The obfuscation and lack of accountability displayed by the
Garda Commissioner means that (she) is simply not able to
bring the clean sweep that is needed to restore trust and
ensure that An Garda Sochana adheres to standards
expected by the general public.
The use of de facto slush funds at the college once again
raises more questions than answers about the internal
operations of An Garda Sochana, he added.
Meanwhile, Labours representative on the PAC (and local
Tipperary TD) Alan Kelly said that an explanation is
needed.
This report raises a number of concerns, not least the time
its taken to publish it, given that these issues go back a
number of years, he said.
Im also clearly concerned by whats in this report, and have
raised it with the Minister for Justice.
As has been highlighted in recent days, it is absolutely
paramount that the public has full confidence in an Garda
Sochna, and the Training College at Templemore is at the
heart of this.
That the basic best accounting practices
at Templemore may not have been observed is not
acceptable, and unfortunately undermines the reputation of
the college, Kelly added.
Commissioner OSullivan is expected to give testimony to
the Oireachtas Justice Committee tomorrow morning
regarding the recent scandals which have engulfed the force.
Garda boss did not raise account issues. Time for Garda commissioner to step down .I be
emailing the new minister for justice to remove the commissioner from her post.
Fresh controversy has enveloped Garda Commissioner Nirn
OSullivan after she was criticised by the States financial watchdog
for failing to mention possible financial irregularities at Templemore
Garda College in a formal accounting notification to him.

The intervention by Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus


McCarthy at the Public Accounts Committee emerged as one
member, Fianna Fils Marc MacSharry, revealed that a 2010 email
purportedly from Garda finance boss Michael Culhane to the
Department of Justice allegedly referred to an attempt to muddy
things up regarding taxation matters in correspondence with
Revenue.
In another dramatic day at the PAC, Ms OSullivan said she had
referred a report by the Garda internal auditor Niall Kelly to the
Garda Ombudsman in which he raised suspicions that fraud may
have been committed involving a secret garda bank account, which
at its height held 90,000-plus.
The Ombudsman said the matter was sent to it late on Monday and
that it was now under consideration.
The Irish Examiner understands that Gsoc, which has not conducted
a major fraud investigation before, may have to contract in a forensic
accountant or consider leading a multi-agency investigation as
matters may also involve revenue or corporate issues.
It is thought Gsoc is seeking clarity from An Garda Sochna on the
exact scale and scope of the investigation, but that a decision on
the inquiry is expected to be made fairly quickly given the level of
public interest.
PAC heard that a formal accounting letter sent by Ms OSullivan to
Mr McCarthy on July 31, 2015, in which she is required to disclose
any issues of loss, fraud, or irregularities, did not mention the
emerging financial concerns surrounding Templemore.
The commissioner, questioned yesterday for more than six hours,
said she was first informed of these issues on July 27, 2015.
Mr McCarthy said that any question about potential irregularities was
something that should have been made known to me so he could
independently carry out his own function.
The commissioner said she did not have full information and to get a
complete picture she set up a working group on July 28 to gather
all the information.
However, Mr McCarthy said he should still have been informed, even
if the commissioner only had basic or partial information, and
added: Im quite clear it should have been brought to my attention.
The commissioner said that she would have reported it if I knew
then what I know now.
Sinn Fins David Cullinane said it called into question whether the
commissioners letter to the C&AG was accurate or inaccurate and
added: That, for me, is quite serious.
His partys deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, accused the
commissioner of misleading the C&AG which Ms OSullivan
rejected.
In a dramatic development, Mr MacSharry referred to a July 2010
email purportedly from Garda finance director Michael Culhane to
the Department of Justices garda division in which he allegedly said
that in correspondence on tax matters with Revenue he had included
a reference to charity status to muddy things up. He said this
referred to another email from auditors PwC to Mr Culhane which
said garda could argue charity status for all investment income.
Ms OSullivan said she was disadvantaged as she was only seeing
the emails now, but said the language was unusual.
Mr MacSharry said he got the documentation from Garda chief
administrative officer Joe Nugent, who accompanied Ms OSullivan,
during the lunch break.
Meanwhile, the chair of the Policing Authority, Josephine Feehily, has
said she is disappointed and alarmed with the widespread failures
in practices within An Garda Siochana.
according to the St Raphael Credit Unions 2016 annual report, most
of its directors are current or retired garda, some of whom work with
the NBCI.
Its also emerged that the signatory of this account was a retired
senior Garda. Its also been reported that some payments initially
lodged into the Cabra account were subsequently transferred to St
Raphaels Garda Credit Union.
Murphy: I want to move on to another aspect and thats in relation to
the credit union and the use of the credit union to bounce or not bounce
but to move money backwards and forwards. Now, theres, it was moved in
from the Restaurant Account and then it was moved back when there was a
shortage of money and it seems quite an internal thing, given that the credit
union is obviously a Garda credit union, theres guards on it and theres a
potential of, theres the potential of conflicts of interest.
OSullivan: Id be very frank. Im not currently aware but we can certainly,
Im sure its available in the public domain whos on the board, I dont
know.
(Liar) She knows well its her husbands staff in NBCI
From top: Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan; Social
Democrats TD Catherine Murphy

Almost three weeks ago.

At a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.

Head of Internal Audit at An Garda Siochana Niall Kelly whose


interim audit report into financial irregularities at the Garda College was
completed in draft form and given to the Garda Commissioner Noirin
OSullivan in September 2016 told the PAC his team had started two
specific audits on EU-funded projects and
programmes concerning the Garda College.

Readers may note that, in his final interim report which was published in
February of this year, one of Mr Kellys recommendations was that the
Garda College return the interest gained from EU funds held on deposit.

He said:

The 15,964 collected in interest payments received from


placing money related to European Funded projects and
CEPOL funding in deposit accounts should be returned to the
European Commission if it has not already been deducted from
claims.

Readers should also note that, in respect of the EU Project and CEPOL
accounts, audits of these accounts were not sent to Mr Kelly while he
was doing his overall audit. He said:
It is a basic tenant of European Financial Controls that members
States cannot benefit from interest payments on European
Funds held on depositIn the course of this audit GIAS [Garda
Internal Audit Section] was informed that audits of these European
Projects had been conducted however these audit reports were not
forwarded to GIAS. It is important that GIAS has sight of all audit
reports conducted by external auditors and that the Statutory Garda
Audit Committee is fully informed.

Readers may also recall how, at the same PAC meeting three weeks
ago, Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy asked Mr Kelly about the
possibility of money being sent from the Garda College in
Templemore to a Dublin bank account under the control of a former
senior Garda officer.

Mr Kelly said hed rather not answer that question because its the
subject of audit.

Since then.

Its been reported that 5% of CEPOL monies were placed in a AIB


account in Cabra, with this EU money reportedly used for entertainment
purposes.

Its also emerged that the signatory of this account was a retired
senior Garda. Its also been reported that some payments initially
lodged into the Cabra account were subsequently transferred to St
Raphaels Garda Credit Union.

Mr Kelly believes there is sufficient suspicion that fraud may have been
committed in regards to these matters.

In turn, he drew up a draft report on the matter for the Garda


Commissioner Noirin OSullivan who, on Monday, referred the matter to
the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission [GSOC], thus the matter
was largely out of bounds for questioning at Tuesdays PAC meeting.

Readers will note that, according to the St Raphael Credit Unions 2016
annual report, most of its directors are current or retired garda, some of
whom work with the NBCI.

Ms OSullivan told the PAC on Tuesday that Mr Kelly has reported the
matter to OLAF, the EUs anti-fraud office.

But an unnamed Garda also contacted OLAF. Broadsheet


understands that this Garda contacted OLAF before Mr Kelly.
Meanwhile

At Tuesdays PAC meeting, TDs attempted to ask questions about the


Cabra account, including Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy.

The exchanges included the following:

Catherine Murphy: Just to pick up on the account, the Cabra


account. It was the Cabra account?

Noirin OSullivan: Yes, yes, deputy.

Murphy: Was it an account that was a personal account or a Garda


account?

OSullivan: Again, without pre-empting what the investigation is going


to uncover,my understanding was that it was a Garda account.

Murphy: Right. OK. And the money involved, because, or the


suspicion of money involved

Alan Kelly: Was it always a Garda account? Was it always held in


the name of An Garda Siochana?

OSullivan: My understanding is yes, deputy.

Kelly: that or other related accounts were never in the name of


somebody who is no longer a member of the force?

OSullivan: I dont know, we would have to check with the head of


internal audit [Niall Kelly].

Murphy: So, I mean, it was Mr Kelly who was the head of internal audit
who notified you, so he would have indicated roughly an amount
because, obviouslywhat range is that in?

OSullivan: I think, deputy, that at its height, or at its peak, it would


have been in the region of 90,000-plus and then, all the way
down to maybe 5,000.

Murphy: Right so, theres a range.

OSullivan: Thats roughly

Murphy: And what timeline are we talking about?


OSullivan: Again, I just have to confer with some of my colleagues,
just from memory my understanding is that the account was opened
in 1999 and closed in 2010.

Murphy: So its not, it could be a range of different people?

OSullivan: Yes.

Murphy: And, I mean the level of offence that theres a suspicion of, is
that on the serious end?

OSullivan: Well, deputy, at this point, I dont know. Thats where the
investigation will establish if any offence, like, what Mr Kelly has
reported is that he has reasonable cause to suspect that there may be,
so potentially, there may be criminal activity, fraudulent activity around
the account. But that will be a matter for the Ombudsman Commission
[GSOC] to establish.

Murphy: Ok, now, is this exclusively around European, the


European money?

OSullivan: My understanding is that yes, but again, deputy, I just to


be very careful. Ive given you what I got as a preliminary report from
the head of internal audit [Niall Kelly]. I do not know the facts and I
think it would be wrong of me to pre-empt what the investigation
will establish.

Murphy: Theres two ends to this account. Theres the money


thats controlled by an account in Cabra. But how it got there. And
obviously it would have been I raised a question here a couple of
weeks ago, about money coming from Templemore to a Dublin
account that was controlled by a senior member of the force and
Im presuming that that is what were talking about here.

When I asked Mr Kelly, he said that he wasnt happy to discuss it at the


meeting here a couple of weeks ago because it was the subject of an
audit and, indeed, again I asked Mr [Donal] O Cualain last week
about inquiries other than the internal audit and, essentially,
obviously, weve progressed to that within less than a week.

So, obviously the money would have had to come from


Templemore. And theres a number of different accounts there so
somebody in Templemore would be transferring money to an
account. And that would be straightforward, would it? In the normal
course of events, that would be straightforward. Would money not
have been that was allocated for the purpose of the European
funding, would that not have been exclusive to Templemore? Why
would it have gone to the Cabra account?

OSullivan: Deputy, Im not in a position to answer those


questions because obviously they are facts that will have to be
established in the investigation. And, I think to be fair to the
committee, I just want to be very clear, like what the internal auditor has
told us at the moment, and if I could just quote from his audit report
again, that he: considers that theres sufficient suspicion that fraud may
have been committed. Now, that means that the matter needs to be
investigated to established.

Alan Kelly: [inaudible] prima facie?

OSullivan: No, he does not.

Kelly: Ok, did he use them orally with you?

OSullivan: No, he did not.

Kelly: Ok.

OSullivan: Theyre his exact wordings and thats why I think its really
important and were talking about a potential suspicious activity on an
account that may potentially lead to investigators to establish that
something has happened. So I think that we have to be very, very
careful in terms of the context that were putting on this. This is at the
very early stages. It has not even, I dont even want to say that the
Ombudsman Commission [GSOC], theyre only considering the
matter and, to be fair, the Ombudsman Commission got the matter
yesterday.

Of course, we remain there to assist the Ombudsman Commission in


whatever way possible, including the expertise available throughout the
organisation. Commissioner, I dont want to be unfair to you but Ive
got to say, the timing of the referral [to GSOC] yesterday, given that
this a subject that, over the last two weeks, has come into play here.
And Im very pleased that something is being looked into by the
appropriate body but I have to say that the timing appears
incredibly convenient given that youre in front of us today and it
does put out of bounds discussions on some of the matters that
we were trying to explore.
OSullivan: Deputy I certainly, even if I was here without having
referred this matter to the Ombudsman Commission yesterday, I
wouldnt be in a position to talk about these matters, theyd still be under
internal audit investigation or external investigation. So under no
circumstances was this matter referred to anything other than taking
appropriate or required action when something like this has brought to
our attention.

Later

Murphy: I want to move on to another aspect and thats in relation to


the credit union and the use of the credit union to bounce or not
bounce but to move money backwards and forwards. Now,
theres, it was moved in from the Restaurant Account and then it
was moved back when there was a shortage of moneyand it seems
quite an internal thing, given that the credit union is obviously a
Garda credit union, theres guards on it and theres a potential of,
theres the potential of conflicts of interest.

Do you have any concerns in relation to the credit union being used,
was there any did you look at that specifically? Is there any
concerns in relation to the use of the credit union?

OSullivan: The credit union, deputy, is an independent financial


institution, its a separate entity entirely from An Garda Siochana and it
would have the same status as a financial institution.

Murphy: And whos on the board of the credit union?

OSullivan: Id be very frank. Im not currently aware but we can


certainly, Im sure its available in the public domain whos on the board,
I dont know.

Murphy: But theyre likely have been drawn from the Garda
Siochana.

OSullivan: Not necessarily, no, deputy, not necessarily.

Murphy: I actually think that it might be quite useful, given that the
Central Bank have a regulatory oversight there and I think it
would

Alan Kelly: Good point, deputy


Murphy: ...be quite useful to ask the Central Bank to have a look
at this particular, because they have a function in that regard.

Later

Murphy: When I asked Mr Kelly a couple of weeks ago about the


money transferred to a Dublin account, he said that he wasnt at liberty
to talk about that because he was auditing it at the moment. What other
streams of audit are under way at the moment? He did say to us that it
could take up to two years to finalise all the work that was, that was
produced as a consequence of the interim report and the matters
contained in it. What other streams are being considered or being
audited?

OSullivan: Deputy, we can find that out for you in a moment, if you
wish?

[confers with colleagues]

OSullivan: Sorry, deputy, I feel Im just been relaying messages,


excuse me for the delay. What we understand is, what I understand
from my colleague is Mr Kelly has a number of streams of work
under way. He was focusing and prioritising on the one that he
has just completed which he has just delivered to us yesterday
and he has a number of other streams which hes going to decide
upon now that that one is out of the way. And he will decide on a
priority and, obviously, he will make the audit committee aware of that.

Murphy: So, the priority of those would be the suspicion of something


that is likely to be ongoing or would be in same family of things as the
one that he has just completed?

OSullivan: Not necessarily suspicious deputy. I think the focus is on


ensuring that the audit process is carried out thoroughly and
robustly so not necessarily where there is any suspicion but there
will be a prioritisation and that, as you know, the work plan is agreed in
conjunction with the deputy commissioner on my left and, also, the audit
committee.

Later

Murphy: There was a number of different audit committees since


the function of Accounting Officer transferred from the
Department [of Justice] to the Commissioner. There was one from
2006 to 2009, there was another one from 2009 to 2013, there was
another one after that and I think theres probably a new one now. Can I
ask that: was there any member of the, specifically to 2006 to 2009,
audit committee was anyone on that specifically a member of a
signature on the bank account thats under investigation?

OSullivan: I dont know deputy, wed have to check for you, we can
come back to the committee, I dont know. And I think we wont know
precisely who all of the signatories were until the investigation or
the examination is completed but, certainly, we can come back to the
committee on it. I dont know.

Murphy: Could I, could we ask that you come back quickly on that?

OSullivan: As quickly as were able because as I say itll take the


investigation to identify in fact who the signatories are but well do our
very best to come back as quickly as possible.

Murphy: Yeah, and I presume theres an understanding that this kind


of happens at both ends, it would have to happen at both ends,
presumably, its not just the bank account thats being looked at, is
it? It is, is it how the money got to the bank account?

OSullivan: Yes, so itll look at any transactions operating in or out


of that bank account is my understanding but again I want to be
careful: I dont want to pre-empt the examination or investigation thats
going to be, thats being considered by the Ombudsman Commission at
the moment. And, as I said this morning, obviously we remain in a
position to assist in whatever way we can, so I dont want to preempt
what the nature or extent of their investigation will be.

Murphy: And when you refer something to GSOC, do you get any, I
mean I know whatever time it takes to do an investigation it takes but is
there a timeframe that you have an expectation that they work within? Is
it timely in other words?

OSullivan: Yes, my experience is that it is timely. There are updates


given under Section 103 of the Garda Siochana Act and the process
works well.

Murphy: Im just going to leave it at that.

Josepha Madigan: Thank you for your forbearance, Commissioner.


First of all, my understanding is that there is a retired member whose a
signatory on the account in Cabra but I know youve made your
comments in relation to that.

Garda gets suspended sentences


for Nenagh assault
Updated / Thursday, 22 Jun 2017

The Garda Press Office would not confirm if Garda Brian


Hanrahan has been suspended because of his conviction
A 33-year-old garda has been given two suspended sentences for periods of six and three
months for assaulting two women in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, in March 2016.

Judge Elizabeth McGrath said the assault on one of the victims, Emer Kelly, was serious and
that his response to events that night was to raise his fist and punch her. She said she could
not ignore that.

An appeal had been made to the judge for leniency and to take into account his previous
good character and that he was a good family man and colleague, but that he had suffered a
horrific attack in New Orleans the year before which gave him a heightened sense of tension
and awareness around him.

Judge McGrath said custodial sentences were appropriate but she would suspend them given
he had no previous convictions.

Recognisances were fixed on his own surety of 1,000 in the event of an appeal.

The Garda Press Office would not confirm if Garda Hanrahan has been suspended because
of his conviction.

They say they do not comment on internal garda disciplinary matters.


https://www.rte.ie/news/munster/2017/0622/884743-garda-brian-hanrahan/
There you are Joe and you and Wayne got jailed for standing outside a court house minding your own business. Now
Seamus Hughes would have sentenced this young buck to death by hanging, no i don't mean that Hughes would have
told the young thug when you are hitting a slapper make sure there is no one else around. By the way those young
women were not slappers they were lovely generous obliging ladies, They are also very brave most men in this country
would not have the balls to complain about a guard i hope they take him to the cleaners now. Yes he should not be
employed in the public sector if he has a mental problem, that turns him into a violent maniac. Bring that to court with
you.

Morris Tribunal for


Dummies
by GERARD CUNNINGHAM posted on JUNE 10, 2005
Village magazine
Everything you need to know about the Morris Tribunal by
Gerard Cunningham.

What is the Morris Tribunal?


The Morris Tribunal or to give it its formal title, the
Tribunal of Inquiry into complaints concerning some
garda in the Donegal Division was established by the
Oireachtas on 28 March 2002.
Who is Mr Justice Morris?
Tribunal chairman Mr Justice Frederick Morris, a former
High Court president, was chosen as the sole member of
the tribunal. Born in Kilkenny, he was called to the bar in
1952 and became a senior counsel in 1973. He was made a
high court judge in 1990 and appointed to the Special
Criminal Court the following year.
What are its terms of reference?
Morriss terms of reference require him to look at
allegations concerning Garda corruption and malpractice
in Donegal, centering mostly on allegations by the
McBrearty family and others concerning garda conduct
during and after the investigation which followed the hit
and run death of Raphoe cattle dealer Richie Barron in the
early hours of Monday 14 October 1996.
How has it gone about its work?
The tribunal has broken its work into a series of modules.
After two years and 224 days of evidence, the tribunal had
completed three of eleven modules.
Of three modules already completed, two ran concurrently
dealing with intertwined aspects of the McBrearty affair,
one covering the overall investigation itself, the other the
investigation into a series of hoax extortion telephone calls
to Michael and Charlotte Peoples accusing him of Mr
Barrons death. A separate case involving the Gallagher
family, victims of a pointless and fruitless search for IRA
arms on their North Donegal farm, was also examined.
What did the first module look into?
The first module of the Tribunal looked at allegations that
a series of bomb discoveries by garda in the early 1990s
were hoaxes. This tribunal published its conclusions in its
first interim report, published last summer.
What did it find?
The tribunal found that two Donegal-based guards,
Superintendent Kevin Lennon and Detective Garda Noel
McMahon planned a series of hoax finds in order to
advance their careers. To achieve this, they pretended
Letterkenny woman, Adrienne McGlinchey, was an IRA
informer. Morris found that she was neither an IRA
member nor an informer.
What was the outcome?
Following publication of the first interim report, corrupt
detective Noel McMahon resigned. Two other senior
garda, Chief Superintendent Denis Fitzpatrick and
Superintendent John P OConnor, also resigned after
meeting the Garda commissioner to discuss the report,
which found they had been negligent. The Cabinet fired
Superintendent Lennon last October. Many of the
nineteen former and serving garda criticised for
corruption, negligence, and lying, four had already retired
by the time the report was published. Others are still
serving as members of An Garda Sochana.
Did that first report make any observations on the Garda
as a whole?
Morris was highly critical of the force, finding it in a state
of disarray, with low morale, poor discipline, lack of
oversight, and a culture of silence summed up by one
witness who told him We dont hang our own.
Did it make any observations about the Garda
leadership?
Senior management both in Donegal and Dublin failed to
ask the most basic of questions, which would have
uncovered the hoaxes being perpetrated under their noses.
What Garda were named as corrupt, or grossly
negligent or grossly incompetent in the first module?
Morris found Kevin Lennon and Noel McMahon were
corrupt in planting bogus explosives.
Lennons bosses, former Chief Supt Sean Ginty and Supt
John P OConnor were grossly negligent, as was Chief Supt
Denis Fitzpatrick. Other senior officers found negligent to
various degrees were Chief Supt John McLoughlin, Supt
Tom Long, and Supt Michael Duffy.
Lower down the ranks, Det Sgt Hugh Smith, Det Sgt Sylvie
Henry, Det Sgt Jim Leheny, Det Sgt Danny Kelly, Sgt Des
Walsh, Sgt Mick Murray, Det Garda Martin Anderson, Det
Garda Padraig Cafferkey, Garda Martin Leonard, Garda
Tom Rattigan and Garda PJ Thornton were criticised.
Crime & Security Branch, the intelligence gathering
section at Garda HQ, was also negligent.
What happened the Garda against whom findings of
corruption, gross negligence, and incompetence were
made?
Two of the senior officers resigned following publication of
the report.
Danny Kelly had already resigned shortly after he gave his
evidence to the tribunal. Several had already retired before
the tribunal was established. The rest are still serving
members of the force.
Did the Tribunal get full cooperation from the Garda in
the conduct of its investigations in the first module?
Morris was highly critical of witnesses, and coined the
term Garda Speak to describe the practice which the
judiciary have witnessed in the Courts for many years
whereby garda in the witness box will parry and fence
with counsel in a well-recognised choreography to avoid
answering counsels question.
When was the first report published?
July 2004
Did this report cause a big stir in the Dail?
Neither the Dil nor Senate debated its findings.
What has happened since it published its report?
Very little. However Sean Aylward, the current Secretary
General of the Dept of Justice, said it was part of the
mood music behind the framing of the current Garda
Bill.
How many of the recommendations have been
implemented?
The commissioner set up nine working parties to consider
the report, and is now contemplating what to do next. To
date, there have been few concrete changes.
What did the second report deal with?
The second module dealt with the death of Raphoe cattle
dealer Richie Barron in 1996, and the subsequent garda
investigation. During the investigation into Richie
Barrons death, Frank McBrearty junior, his cousin Mark
McConnell, and Michael Peoples were arrested on 4
December 1996 on suspicion of murder. Mark McConells
wife Roisin, and her first cousin Charlotte Peoples, as well
as two of Roisins sisters, and employees of the
McBreartys, were also arrested as accessories after the
fact. Frank McBrearty senior was also arrested under
Section 30 of the Offences Against the state Act on
conspiracy charges relating to allegations that he
attempted to bribe witnesses.
A third module concerned hoax telephone calls to Michael
and Charlotte Peoples. The issues involved were so
intertwined with the Barron investigation that the
evidence was heard concurrently and is also covered in the
second report.
What did the Tribunal discover in these second and third
modules?
It established Richie Barron was not murdered. He died as
a result of a hit and run. All of the people arrested were
completely innocent of any involvement in Mr Barrons
death. The judge was extremely critical of the Garda
investigation, which he branded prejudiced, tendentious
and utterly negligent in the highest degree. Named garda
conspired to frame Mr McBrearty and Mr McConnell, and
covered up the origin of a hoax extortion call to Michael
Peoples from the home of John ODowd, then a garda
stationed on Raphoe. The caller accused Peoples of
murder and demanded money. In all, fifteen former and
serving members of the force were heavily criticised, as
was the Crime & Security intelligence section, which was
negligent in its handling of informers.
What Gardai were named as corrupt, or grossly
negligent or grossly incompetent?
In this second module John ODowd and Garda Phil
Collins conspired to falsify garda records to conceal
ODowds knowledge of the hoax extortion call. Supt Kevin
Lennon and Chief Supt Denis Fitzpatrick also covered up
the phone calls.
Chief Superintendent Denis Fitzpatrick, Superintendent
Joe Shelly, Superintendent John McGinley and retired
Superintendent John Fitzgerald were negligent to various
degrees in running the investigation. Shelly, McGinley and
Fitzpatrick were also criticised for destroying their notes
and diaries from the time.
John ODowd and Padraig Mulligan were criticised for
failing to account for their movements the night Barron
died. They were drinking in a pub in Lifford. Mulligan was
supposed to be on duty in Raphoe at the time.
Garda PJ McDermott, Garda John Birney and Garda
James McDwyer chose to ignore the 999 call to attend the
scene of the hit and run because they were about to go on
their meal break. Garda Patrick Boyce in Letterkenny
failed to log all the calls from civilians reporting the
incident. When Mulligan, Birney and McDwyer eventually
arrived at the scene, their actions were hopelessly
negligent.
Sgt Marty Moylan allowed himself to be swept along in
taking a false statement from a supposed witness, Noel
McBride in oppressive circumstances by ODowd and
Collins. He did not give a truthful account of the interview
to the tribunal. Garda Martin Leonard failed in his duty to
protect Noel McBride, a prisoner in his custody.
Det Sgt John White lied to the tribunal about the
circumstances in which a later false statement was taken
from Noel McBride in July 1997. He was negligent in
failing to share suspicions about William Doherty with the
incident room investigating the Barron case.
Sgt John OToole bypassed proper procedures for
obtaining telephone records during the investigation, by
contacting his brother-in-law Det Insp Patrick Nyhan in
Crime & Security directly. The documents OToole
obtained through Nyhan were later destroyed to erase the
fact that the information had been obtained outside
normal channels.
Garda John ODowd and Supt Kevin Lennon concocted
false intelligence reports, which they attributed to
ODowds informer, William Doherty, in order to further
their careers. Fitzpatrick was grossly negligent in how he
treated the intelligence.
Crime & Security branch was again found to be negligent
in not following up on the intelligence.
What has happened to them?
Supt Joe Shelly and Det Supt John McGinley offered their
resignations at a meeting on Tuesday (6 June) with
Commissioner Noel Conroy. Supt John Fitzgerald had
already retired last December, having completed 40 years
in the force.
Fitzpatrick had already resigned last Summer after he was
criticised in the first Morris report.
Since the publication of the second report last week, there
have been calls for further resignations, including those of
Commissioner Noel Conroy and Justice Minister Michael
McDowell.
Lennon was fired last Autumn. ODowd and Mulligan were
fired last year following internal garda disciplinary
proceedings. Collins resigned last October. Birney had
already retired before the Tribunal heard his evidence.
White is currently suspended. Moylan intends to retire
later this month once he completes his 30 years service.
When was the second report published?
1 June 2005
Were there any general observations made about An
Garda Sochna in this second report?
Yes. The judge again criticised the culture of silence in the
force, and the breakdown in morale and discipline.
Regarding the extortion calls, what was that about?
Michael and Charlotte Peoples received a series of
extortion telephone calls on 9 November 1996 accusing
them of murdering Richie Barron and demanding money.
Charlotte is a first cousin of Roisin McConnell, the wife of
Mark McConnell.
What was the outcome of that?
William Doherty, a garda informer, made the calls from
his own home and that of his handler, Garda John
ODowd, with ODowds approval. His colleague Garda
Phil Collins falsified garda records to create an alibi for
ODowd for he time the call was made from his home. Supt
Kevin Lennon and Chief Supt Denis Fitzpatrick acted with
ODowd to cover up his involvement in the calls.
How did the government and the Minister for Justice
respond to this report?
Theres been a lot of talk about a few bad apples. The
government has also pointed to the new ombudsman
commission, which will replace the garda complaints
board as a guarantee that it wont happen again. The
Taoiseach and the Minister have expressed their
confidence in the garda commissioner.
Did any of the Garda against whom finds were made get
their costs or have their costs paid for by the State?
Yes. Garda represented by the legal team for the Garda
Commissioner had their legal costs paid.
How was it that the Garda Commissioner represented
Garda at the Tribunal who clearly had been grossly
incompetent and negligent?
In closing submissions, lawyers for the Commissioner
argued that the Barron case was in fact a well-run
investigation, and that although mistakes had happened
they were eventually corrected. Obviously Mr Justice
Morris disagreed.
Who is Kevin Carty?
The allegations by the McBrearty family were originally
investigated by a team headed by Assistant commissioner
Kevin Carty, now working with the UN in Bosnia. Carty
was sent to Donegal in 1999 to investigate the claims that a
hoax extortion telephone call was made from the phone of
Garda John ODowd. Cartys investigation was unable to
get to the core of the telephone calls, but it did uncover
allegations of wrongdoing against guards in the Division,
both from the McBrearty and in other cases mentioned
previously, including the allegations concerning fake
explosives finds, initially from Sheenagh McMahon, the
disillusioned wife of Detective Noel McMahon, and later
substantiated by Adrienne McGlinchey. Following Cartys
report, which had never been published, several officers
were transferred out of the division.
What is this Crime and Security?
Crime & Security is the garda intelligence unit, based in
the Phoenix Park HQ. It is responsible for collating and
analysing information on the IRA and other groups.
Because the tribunals terms of reference required it to
look at the activities of alleged IRA informers in the north-
western county, the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts
were amended to allow testimony in closed session if it
threatened the security of the State, or could prejudice
ongoing criminal prosecutions.
As a result, all evidence relating to C77 forms used by
garda to report subversive intelligence to Crime &
Security has been heard in private. To date however, the
tribunal chairman has found that none of the information
on any C77 studied by the tribunal contained anything
substantial, and was either bogus or consisted merely of
snippets of gossip.
What did the reports say about it?
Crime & Security has been criticised in both Morris
reports for its negligence in failing to ask basic questions
about dodgy intelligence reports.
To what extent have the reports been embarrassing from
the Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy?
He was in charge of Crime and Security for much of the
period covered by the first Explosives Module. The closing
submission by his legal team that the Barron investigation
was a well-run exercise has also raised eyebrows.
What about the Gallagher family?
A major search for IRA arms took place on a farm
belonging to the Gallagher family in St Johnstown in
March 1997. Despite intensive efforts involving members
of the ERU and an Army helicopter, nothing was found.
Morris concluded that the search was based on bogus
information concocted by Kevin Lennon and John ODowd
to advance their careers. William Doherty was told to
plant subversive materials on lands belonging to the
Gallaghers, an innocent family, but failed to do so despite
telling Lennon he had, thus leading to several days of
fruitless searching.
What are the other modules of the Tribunal to look at?
The tribunal will resume sittings for its 325th day on
Monday 13 June, when it will hear applications for costs
from the parties represented in the most recent modules.
Following criticism of several guards who were found to
have lied to the tribunal, the Garda Representative
Association is no doubt bracing itself for another hefty
legal bill. Mounting legal bills led the Association to
withdraw its barristers last March, and only their solicitors
now attend the tribunal. The representation their
members can expect may be pared back even further in
future modules. The Association of Garda Sergeants and
Inspectors may fare somewhat better, although one of
their clients, Sgt Martin Moylan, was severely criticised in
the second interim report. The Garda Commissioner did
not make an application for costs after the first report, and
looks unlikely to do so this time either.
The Dept of Justice will pick up the bill for all the officers
represented by his legal team.
The next module will examine the so-called Silver Bullet
affair, which led to the arrest of Mark McConnell and
Michael Peoples following allegations that they threatened
Mr Bernard Conlon. Conlon has since withdrawn all his
allegations, and later received a six-month suspended
sentence for his part in the affair.
However, in light of the finding that cattle dealer Richie
Barron died as a result of a hit and run, and that Frank
McBrearty junior and others are innocent of any
involvement in his death, the most interesting of the
impending modules concerns what happened while Frank
McBrearty was in garda detention on 4 December 1996.
Four members of the National Bureau of Criminal
Investigation questioned McBrearty, and claim he signed a
confession while questioned by two of the Dublin
detectives, Detective Sergeant John Melody and Detective
Garda John Fitzpatrick.
McBrearty has always denied he signed the alleged
statement of admission while in garda custody, and says it
was either manufactured or obtained by a trick. In light of
the findings by pathologists that Mr Barrons injuries
could not have been caused by an assault, questions arise
about why Mr McBrearty would make a statement
claiming he hit him a slap on the head with a bit of
timber. His lawyers have pointed out that the page
containing the admission is not signed or initialled by Mr
McBrearty.
Morris is also required to look at further allegations from
the McBrearty family, including that they were subject to a
campaign of harassment by Garda which led to over 100
summonses being served for licensing offences at their
pub, and the failure of the Garda Complaints Board to deal
adequately with the protests from the McBrearty family.
Another module will look at the arrest of Mr Frank
McBrearty junior resulting from an alleged assault on a Mr
Edward Moss. Mr McBrearty was acquitted of charges
relating to Mr Moss in the Letterkenny Circuit Court in
1999.
Unrelated to the McBrearty family, the Tribunal is also
required to examine allegations concerning garda conduct
during protests over the erection of MMDS equipment on
a telecommunications mast near Ardara, and allegations
that a makeshift explosive device found near the mast was
assembled in a garda station. Further allegations concern
the alleged planting of a firearm and ammunition near a
Traveller encampment in Burnfoot in the north of the
county. Amazingly, key evidence relating to this find,
including 11 cartridges of ammunition and 39 original
statements, has since disappeared from garda custody.

Media looking at tribunal


looking at media
by GERARD CUNNINGHAM posted on MARCH 1, 2017
This article first appeared in Village magazine,
March 2017 edition
The Disclosures Tribunal or the Charleton tribunal, as it
may come to be known got of to a surprisingly quick
start, with Supreme Court Justice Peter Charleton making
an opening statement on Monday 27 February, only eleven
days after the first draft of the terms of reference were
approved by the cabinet.
Charleton is no stranger to garda tribunals, having
previously been lead counsel for the Morris tribunal,
which spent the five years from 2003 to 2008 examining
goings-on in Donegal during the 1990s, and he will be
aware of just how quickly they can spiral out of control.
His opening statement contained a stern warning that
every lie told before this tribunal will be a waste of what
ordinary men and women have paid for through their
unremitting efforts. Every action of obfuscation, of
diversion of focus, and of non-cooperation is unwelcome
for that reason. This shot across the bows of all parties is
meant to show that the judge is in no mood to tolerate
multi-year sittings.

MR JUSTICE PETER CHARLETON READING THE OPENING STATEMENT AT


THE DISCLOSURES TRIBUNAL
But Morris, too, began optimistically, with reckless early
talk during the first March day of hearings that it would all
be over by Christmas. That optimism lasted all of a few
hours, until Garda Martin Leonard a local GRA rep in
Letterkenny was called to the stand. Described later by
retired Freddy Morris as incorrigible and unbiddable,
Leonard bluntly told the tribunal in early evidence that
you dont want to hang your own.
Morris later went on to identify Garda speak, defined as
the practice which the judiciary have witnessed in the
Courts for many years whereby Garda in the witness box
will parry and fence with counsel in a well-recognised
choreography to avoid answering counsels question. The
eight reports of the Morris tribunal, with their many
recommendations, sought to challenge and change that
Garda culture, and led to reforms including the Garda
Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and the
Garda Inspectorate, as well as changes in aspects of
policing from informant handling to the conduct of
interrogations.
However, the Morris tribunal showed a marked reluctance
to criticise any Garda outside Donegal. This time, the
tribunals focus will move away from the regional divisions
and districts and into Garda headquarters in the Phoenix
Park.
But what will ensure media interest in the tribunal is the
tribunals interest in the media. As outlined in the opening
statement, the tribunal has been specifically tasked in the
public interest to find out whether the media was used as
an instrument for the dissemination of lies. Everyone
loves a bit of attention, and this is as true of journalists as
anyone else.
Leaving aside until another time the specifics of who may
have said what to which journalist, it is somewhat
remarkable to hear a Supreme Court justice wonder aloud
whether journalistic privilege even exists. Granted, the
Irish courts have historically been sceptical about the
extent of claims by the press of a right to protect their
sources, and have sought to limit any such right, but to
question whether it exists at all flies in the face of
established Irish and European jurisprudence. Journalists
have on occasion asserted a pretty much absolute right to
privilege in protecting their sources (and have at times
been jailed for contempt for doing so), while courts have
considered that any such privilege is at best limited and
must be weighed against other rights and the public good,
but there was on the face of it at least an agreement that a
right of some sort, however limited and ill-defined, did
exist.
In that context then, it is worth considering the wide-
ranging questions Charleton raised about privilege in his
opening statement. Is there a privilege against giving
evidence, including relevant records, where someone
communicates in confidence, or off the record, as the
phrase goes to a journalist? If that privilege exists, does it
exist because of the public interest in protecting
investigations by the media? Does journalistic privilege
attach to communications to a journalist where that
communication by the source may not be in the public
interest but, instead, where the source is perhaps solely
motivated by detraction or calumny?
In informer privilege, because of the danger to the life of
those who confidentially help the police, the privilege is
that of the informer and even lasts beyond death,
according to some cases from abroad. The only person, in
our law, who can waive the privilege, is the informer. In
legal professional privilege, similarly, the client holds the
privilege, and not the lawyer who gives legal advice on the
basis of confidential instructions. Only the client can waive
the privilege and reveal the confidential instructions: not
the lawyer. Here, the privilege, if there is one, may attach
to a communication to a journalist in the interests of
providing truthful information to the public, but is it
possible that such a privilege does not apply to using the
media as an instrument of naked deceit? That may or may
not have happened. Either way, the existing law suggests
that the privilege is that of the confidential informant and
not that of the journalist. However, the tribunal has no
settled view on the matter and careful consideration will
have to be given to the issue after submissions are heard.
Its difficult to imagine a court entertaining the argument
that legal privilege is pierced if a clients instructions to a
lawyer were untrue or malicious in nature, yet this seems
to be what the tribunal is contemplating as an argument
against source protection.
It has already been stated by several commentators that
the treatment of Sergeant Maurice McCabe and others is
hardly an encouragement to other Garda officers who
might wish to come forward and report concerns about the
police force. A pre-emptive strike against a cornerstone of
investigative journalism seems like ill-judged at the outset
of a tribunal established to allay concerns about
allegations that senior members of An Garda Sochna
sought to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe because of
complaints he made about the performance of An Garda
Sochna.
http://faduda.net/articles/social/media-looking-at-
tribunal-looking-at-media/
Gerard Cunningham is a freelance journalist living in Co
Kildare. A native of West Donegal, he writes for local and
national outlets on topics as varied as crime and courts,
politics, new technology, and local history, with a
particular interest in archaeology and early Celtic society.
He also works as a sub editor, designer and on occasion as
a photographer.
Gerard is the author of two books, Chaos and
Conspiracy, published in April 2009, and Breaking
the Silence (along with Martin Ridge). He also worked
as consultant editor on Charades, by Karen McGlinchey.

GERARD CUNNINGHAM
For five years he covered the Morris tribunal, providing
stories to both national and local newspapers, and to
broadcast media. He is the only journalist to have
attended every day of evidence at the inquiry into Garda
corruption.
He also covered related stories, including the Frank Shortt
and McBrearty family civil cases, and the criminal trial of
Det Sgt John White.
For more about Gerard Cunninghams work, check out
this archive containing samples of his print work, and the
200 Words blog.
http://faduda.net

Irelands Corruption Bill must


be implemented
PADDY COSGRAVETHURSDAY, 22 JUNE 2017

Quick Summary: According to a 2016 OECD report on corruption in Ireland,


legislation for criminalising the bribery of foreign public officials and
corporate liability for such bribery... has still not been adopted. The word
breach is perhaps too strong. Put more politely Ireland has yet to fully adopt the
OECDs Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in
International Business. In addition, Ireland also has yet to fully adopt the
United Nations Convention against Corruption. This, as the OECD points out,
is an unusual situation for a western nation.
If we in Ireland honestly want to tackle corruption, then we need to start by at
the very least implementing Irelands first truly comprehensive Corruption Bill
since arguably 1889. The good news is the draft legislation is ready, and while
not as all encompassing as many hoped, its still a leap forward. That draft
legislation has been largely sitting on ice for half a decade, waiting for a
government to adopt the legislation. All indications are that our new
Government will.
--------
Over the last thirty years the speed of positive change in Ireland has been
incredible. And it's only accelerating.
The 1980's was a dark decade. But in that decade there were a few positive
lights. With each passing decade in Ireland the number of bright lights has
constantly increased. In a very short space of time, Ireland has become a more
open, tolerant and modern society.
Of course problems remain: persistent poverty, a new cost of living crisis,
restricted reproductive rights and then some more. However, I think theres
every good reason to be incredibly optimistic.
The energy of a generation hungry for a better Ireland is only growing. When
once we cowered under the influence of big institutions like the church, we
now stand up and speak out. Most recently over the Catholic Churchs control
of our new National Maternity Hospital.
Ireland is now regarded as the most open economy in the western world. As
we all know, our economy therefore depends more on the rest of the world than
just about any other nation. Quite understandably, as the most open economy in
the western world, sensitivity to international perception is hardwired into our
national psyche. We know its important to be liked in the world. And
thankfully we are very much liked.
We're known the world over for our hospitality, boasting three of the worlds
top five friendliest cities. But the statistics show something even more positive.
Our openness to the ideas and attitudes of people from other nations and
religions is more positive than almost any other country in the western world.
We listen and respond to what those from outside of Ireland think, and we
welcome new citizens from Syria and elsewhere more positively than any other
nation.
Unfortunately, in recent years, due mostly to the reckless and corrupt actions of
a very small clique, Irelands international reputation has suffered.
Perhaps for the first time, theres been a flood of negative headlines about
corruption in Ireland in major international newspapers. The change in attitudes
towards Ireland goes far deeper than those headlines. And many of us have felt
that change in perception towards Ireland first hand.
However, what matters most now for Ireland is how we are seen as a country to
move forward. Part of moving forward involves slamming shut the doors that
facilitated reckless and corrupt behaviour in the past.
I became aware of international perception of corruption in Ireland earlier this
year at a dinner in San Francisco. I told a general counsel of a major
technology company that she was entirely wrong to say Ireland was in breach
of a nearly two decades old UN convention against corruption. I explained to
her that to imply that Ireland's anti-corruption laws were outdated and out of
line with the rest of the western world was simply wrong.
It turned out I was entirely wrong, and she was entirely right.
Ireland is at odds with various international anti-corruption conventions, which
mostly exist to compel developing world nations to comprehensively tackle
corruption. These anti-corruption conventions dont simply exist, we as a
country have signed up to them. But, and this is critical, successive Irish
governments have failed to subsequently implement the corresponding
legislation.
The OECD, for example, has highlighted this issue in a number of reports, one
as recent as 2016:
...despite taking preliminary steps to address weaknesses in its laws for
criminalising the bribery of foreign public officials and corporate liability for
such bribery, legislation for this purpose has still not been adopted. Moreover,
Ireland still needs to take urgent steps to ensure it has the capacity and
resources to detect, investigate and prosecute cases of foreign bribery.
The deeper problem with corruption in Ireland some would argue is not
corruption itself, but the lack of the necessary laws to stop or at the very least
reduce corruption.
Thankfully much of the required legislation to help Ireland tackle corruption in
a more modern way now exists. It was originally drafted by the Department of
Justice in 2012. While it is classified as priority legislation, it is yet to be put to
a vote of parliament by successive governments.
Whatever the reasons for the delay, all that now remains is for our politicians to
vote through the most comprehensive update to our anti-corruption legislation
since about 1889. And with a new Government now in office, all the
indications are that this legislation will be introduced.
In recent days I have spoken to most major Irish companies, law firms,
accountancy firms and banks. None oppose this legislation, known as the
Corruption Bill. They all both want and need this legislation. The legislation,
contrary to what some might assume, protects Irish companies and their
employees from bad actors.
The Corruption Bill most importantly protects Irelands reputation
internationally. And as the most open economy in the western world we trade
on that reputation more than anyone else. When our children emigrate for
work, when our companies travel abroad to do business, and when international
companies consider doing business in Ireland, our reputation matters most.
Yesterday I asked a number of leading figures from around the world, some
with interests in or ties to Ireland, if they felt strongly enough to put their name
to an open letter encouraging the Irish Government to now enact the necessary
and already drafted anti-corruption legislation.
The response is already overwhelmingly positive.
In early September I will send a letter to the Government with at least 100
signatures. The signatories will include some of the most influential CEOs,
investors, journalists, academics and policy advocates in the world, as well as
those running international companies with a presence in Ireland. And of
course the many Irish professional services firms, banks and Irish companies in
favour of the Corruption Bill.
In the short term it's an imperative that the Irish Government enact the
Corruption Bill to bring us into line with the UN Convention against
Corruption 2003 and the OECDs Convention on Combating Bribery of
Foreign Public Officials in International Business.
The Government needs to do this to ensure that the strongest currency we have
as a country and people, our reputation, remains as positive into the future, as it
has in the past.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/paddy-cosgrave/irelands-corruption-bill-
must-be-implemented/10154502233906109/

IRELAND: FOLLOW-UP TO THE PHASE 3


REPORT & RECOMMENDATIONS
February 2016
http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/IRELAND-Phase-3-Written-Follow-Up-
Report-ENG.pdf
CONVENTION ON COMBATING
BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC
OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS
and Related Documents
http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/ConvCombatBribery_ENG.pdf
Irelands first truly comprehensive Corruption Bill since arguably 1889. The
good news is the draft legislation is ready

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Executive%20Summary%20of%20Irelands%2
0evaluation%20under%20the%20UN%20Mechanism%20for%20the%20Revie
w%20of%20Implementation%20of%20the%20Convention%20Against%20Cor
ruption..pdf/Files/Executive%20Summary%20of%20Irelands%20evaluation%
20under%20the%20UN%20Mechanism%20for%20the%20Review%20of%20I
mplementation%20of%20the%20Convention%20Against%20Corruption..pdf

Irelands implementation of the United Nations


Convention against Corruption
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Irelands implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption

16 July 2015

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D has welcomed the publication
by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime of the Executive Summary of Irelands
evaluation under the UN Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of the Convention
Against Corruption.

Irelands implementation of Chapters III (Criminalization and law enforcement) and IV


(International Cooperation ) of the Convention was subject to review by an Evaluation
Team under the first review cycle of the Mechanism.
The Evaluation Team has made a number of recommendations for consideration including
recommendations for the swift adoption of the Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill, for
improved monitoring of implementation of the Convention so as to identify any
improvements that might be made in its enforcement and enhanced mutual assistance
arrangements.

The Report also identifies a number of Irelands successes and good practices in
implementing the Convention including the comprehensive whistleblower protection
provided by the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, the broad scope of current anti-bribery
legislation and Irelands non conviction-based confiscation legislation and its enforcement
through the Criminal Assets Bureau.

The Minister said: "The Review Mechanism is a very useful tool in helping parties to
the Convention meet their obligations and benchmark the national response to
tackling corruption having regard to the Convention requirements and good
international practice. Ireland already has in place comprehensive legislation and
a range of mechanisms which meet Convention obligations as highlighted by the
Evaluation Team. However, further work is underway which will enhance
Irelands response in the areas under review and which will take full account of
the recommendations of the Evaluation Team including new legislative proposals
to be included in the forthcoming Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill. "

The Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill will replace the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to
2010.

The Bill will:

- replace and update the offences of giving and receiving bribes contained in the old
legislation

- address the bribery of foreign public officials

- provide for the liability of corporate bodies for the corrupt actions of their directors,
employees and agents

- include discrete offences outlawing trading in influence

- take account of the Mahon Tribunal recommendations to criminalise the making of


payments knowingly or recklessly to a third party who intends to use them as bribes.

The Bill is also intended to enhance the ability of the DPP to bring prosecutions by
providing presumptions of corrupt gifts or payments such as:

-where an interested party makes a payment to a public official;


-where a public official has failed to declare interests as required by ethics legislation; and
-where an official accepts a gift in breach of ethical or disciplinary codes.

Penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and unlimited fines are envisaged for persons
convicted on indictment. It is also intended to allow a judge to order a public official
convicted of an offence to forfeit their office and exclude them from seeking public office
for a period of years. These forfeiture provisions will apply to senior office holders as well
as a wide range of civil and public servants

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR15000416
Address by the Tnaiste to the
Luxembourg Business Federation
(FEDIL)
DFAT - 23/1/14
Address by the Tnaiste to the Luxembourg Business Federation (FEDIL)
23 January 2014

Irelands Path to Recovery

Prime Minister, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

Sincere thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, and to FEDIL for inviting me to speak at your 2014 New Years Reception.
It is a great honour to be present this evening at such a prestigious occasion, and an even greater honour for me to speak to
you about Irelands path to economic recovery.
This is my first visit to Luxembourg since the outcome of your election in October, I would like to extend my best wishes to
Prime Minister Bettel and his new Government. I had the privilege of meeting the Prime Minister earlier this afternoon for a
very substantive exchange. You have set out an ambitious, exciting Government Programme and I wish you well as you
begin. We look forward to working closely with you as an EU partner and as a country which shares not just a perspective on
the future of the European Project, but as two countries with such clearly shared vested interests in the success of the
current European endeavour.
This is a challenging time to be in office. In Ireland we know that more than most. Lets ensure that we continue to work
closely together to achieve more than we could ever achieve alone.

Early response to crisis


To properly introduce you to the story of Irelands Path to Recovery, I will start at the point when my colleagues and I from
the Labour and Fine Gael parties in what you would call a Social Democrat/Christian Democrat coalition - entered
Government in March 2011.
Everyone here will recall how bad things were in early 2011: all of Europe was affected, but Ireland particularly so.
The Irish banking system was broken, and unemployment was soaring close to 15%.
When the new Irish Government was formed, there was only five months funding left to pay for public services, for wages,
and for pensions. We had money to keep the schools open until June, but not to re-open them come September. We had
no choice but to work the EU / IMF Troika programme and all that went with it.
It was very clear: we had to fix the problem. Ignoring it or prolonging it was not an option. This was our challenge on taking
office.
The solution was to work within the programme, but to change it driving ahead with crucial reforms and putting in place a
growth agenda.
Early on, we restructured the banking system. We re-negotiated the interest rate and term of the programme loans. We
ended the guarantee for the banking system, liquidated the most notorious bank the Anglo Irish bank - and restructured the
debt we had incurred in rescuing investors in that bank- the infamous promissory note arrangement. We negotiated a
reduction of 10 billion in our debt and of 40 billion in our funding needs.

Irelands reputation
The other early but critical step we took on Irelands Path to Recovery was a major campaign to repair Irelands reputation
abroad, both in European capitals and further afield the importance of which cannot be overstated. The work of convincing
investors and political leaders in other countries, that Ireland was a sound place to invest and to do business was
approached strategically by every member of the Irish Government and every member of our diplomatic corps. That work
continues to this day, keeping the confidence and goodwill stoked, as we take the next steps.

Stimulus to domestic demand


Of course, there were outstanding challenges. And our problems were not all external, by any means. Domestic demand was
a major problem, so we brought forward measures to stimulate activity in the short term a reduced 9% VAT rate for the
hospitality sector, a stimulus plan focusing on works in schools, health facilities and roads - while also pursuing longer-term
strategies in key sectors, such as ICT, and the development of a Strategic Investment Fund.

Results
The journey along the Path to Recovery has not been all rosy, not all easy. And it is not over yet. I personally am convinced
that it wont be over until people feel that recovery in their own lives, and in their own pockets. But the plan is working.
The most important measure of success for me is jobs. From an economy that was losing 7,000 jobs a month, we are now
creating almost 5,000 net new jobs a month. Unemployment is falling down to 12.5 per cent, its lowest level in three and a
half years. Crucially, we are also seeing a modest decline in long-term unemployment and in youth unemployment.

Public finances
Competitiveness is not just a matter for the private sector.
I believe in a fair economy, and good quality public services. But if you believe in providing quality schools and hospitals and
safe streets, then you have to know how you are going to pay for them. And if you believe in an economy that can provide
decent work, with fair conditions, then you cannot hand control of it over to the international financial markets. Our Path to
Recovery required that we put our public finances on a sustainable track, and we have done that (from 2014 we will have a
primary budget surplus).
There is no easy way to make a budget adjustment of 30 billion euro some 18% of our GDP. We have made hard choices
and tough decisions. But even in the face of the harshest realities, the Irish Government was, and remains, determined to
maintain a threshold of decency in how we face down this crisis. That is why we restored the minimum wage after it had
been cut by the previous Government, and maintained core welfare rates for the unemployed, for pensioners, for carers and
for people with a disability.
And it is a fact that - compared to 2009 - broadly the same public services are now being delivered with 10 per cent fewer
staff, and with a pay bill that has been reduced by almost four billion euro. This has been a difficult, but a vital achievement.
Social solidarity is an economic asset, and so is industrial peace. You as employers will know that as much as anyone. And
industrial peace has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today. As a country, it is widely remarked that, for all of
our difficulties, we have sustained a strong sense of social cohesion. It is thanks to the work and sacrifice and solidarity of
the Irish people that this has been the case.
In particular, we have reached an agreement with the public service unions, called the Haddington Road Agreement which
will lead to major increases in productivity in the public service, while cutting the payroll by over 1 billion euro.

Programme exit / medium term strategy / next step


Irelands exit from the bailout last month was an important moment, but only a step along the road. Last weekend, the
decision by Moodys to upgrade Irelands credit rating reflects the significant progress that has been made in stabilising the
public finances, restructuring the banking sector and, most importantly, growing the economy and creating jobs. Ireland is
now rated at investment grade by all of the major credit rating agencies, highlighting the major improvement in investor
sentiment towards Ireland. The change in the outlook accompanying Irelands rating from stable to positive reflects Moodys
expectation of a sustained recovery in the Irish economy and improved debt dynamics.
Our Government believes the upgrade will have benefits for the economy as a whole by putting downward pressure on the
price of credit for companies and organisations in Ireland who are reliant on the financial markets for funding.
And now we look to the future, and we need to set ourselves new targets, ensure that we pursue with the same vigour and
determination all that we applied to the restoration of stability and the bailout exit.
Last month, the Irish Government launched its Medium-Term Economic Strategy 2020. Our Pathway to Recovery may have
begun with the determined and detailed implementation of our EU/IMF programme carrying out 270-plus individual actions
required under that programme. But our own Strategy will guide us on the next part of the journey.
It is first and foremost about staying the course and using the opportunities now possible to speed up recovery.
It outlines the targets the Government must meet to get Ireland working again.
By 2020, we aim to replace all the 330,000 jobs lost during the economic crisis in 2008-11 with new jobs, and in doing so
more than halve the rate of unemployment.
It will also ensure that the mistakes of the past are never repeated. By maintaining strong discipline in Government spending,
we will eliminate the Government deficit by 2018. All future Budgets will be in line with this plan. All Government Ministers
will have to operate in line with this plan.
And, lastly, I think that our Strategy will make clear to our partners in Europe that we mean to continue, with commitment and
resolve, on our Pathway to Recovery. They will know that Ireland will continue to contribute to Europes recovery, its
economy, its reputation, its cohesion.

EU level
As a small open trading economy, we know our Path to Recovery lies through trade and through membership of the Single
Market. For all of the problems we have experienced since joining the euro, the fact remains that membership of the single
currency gives Ireland unrivalled access to a market of 500 million people.
The core lesson of the crisis is that membership of a single currency requires careful and disciplined management of our
affairs, including the public finances. And yet, we are also confident in Irelands underlying advantages as a trading nation
and as an attractive location for investment. Building on our strengths, - including our greatly improved competitiveness - we
can develop a strong model of export-led growth, which in turn sustains work and opportunity for all our people.
At EU level, the Compact for Growth agreed by the EU leaders in June 2012 is our blueprint for creating the growth and jobs
our citizens need. It reinforces the political commitment to doing what is necessary to support recovery in the real economy
whether it is completing the Banking Union, improving access to lending, or advancing trade agreements with key EU
partners. Of course much work remains to be done.

Skills / Employment
The purpose of our economic strategy is not just to maximise the total number of jobs. It is also to ensure that we have good
jobs. We want a new way of thinking about social protection, education and training, to ensure people have the skills to
move between jobs. We want people to have a better quality of life which comes with rising incomes. So we need to support
the businesses and enterprises that will create and maintain and improve jobs.

Supporting employers
Supporting the real economy includes helping companies, including SMEs. And this is an absolutely vital part of our Path to
Recovery. Each of you here will know the critical role Small and Medium sized Enterprises play as the engine of recovery
across our economies: SMEs account for more than 98% of all enterprises, over 20 million firms, in excess of 87 million
employees, 67% of all employment, and 58% of gross value added.
This places the onus on policy-makers across the EU to increase the flow of capital for investment, to further develop
financial supports to SMEs, to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens, and to unlock the benefits of the single market for
business.
Its also important that in Europe we do everything possible to increase growth and productivity, which is why, for example,
during our Presidency we put so much emphasis on progressing the talks between Europe and the US on a new Trade and
Investment Agreement TTIP.

Values
As a society, we have values that we can, and should, articulate on the world stage. Exiting the bailout is the final act in
returning Ireland to the status of being a normal member of the European Union. And yet we seek to be far more than
that. As our Presidency of the Union last year has shown, we have a capacity as a country to influence the direction of the
Union that we can and must exercise to the full. For me, that meant working to deliver the MFF the EU Budget for 2014 to
2020.
Luxembourg will of course assume this responsibility and privilege of the Presidency at the end of 2015.
The past six years are an experience that we should not wish ever to repeat. But in the midst of adversity, we have also
seen many causes for optimism. We have sustained a strong sense of social solidarity. We have maintained, and indeed
deepened, our international relationships. I want, on behalf of the Government, to express our thanks to our partners in
Europe, including Luxembourg, for their solidarity and assistance during this difficult time.

Ireland now
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
For now, the pathway to recovery remains a difficult and a long road to walk. But modest GDP growth has returned, and is
forecast to reach 2% in 2014. Irelands headline competitiveness ranking is up seven places since 2011. If competitiveness is
the main tool for Recovery, for me jobs growth is the main target. Therefore, the most important indicator is that employment
growth was 3.2% in the year to last September - the strongest rate recorded in years.
We continue to perform very strongly in attracting foreign direct investment. Ireland is proud to be recognised as one of the
best small countries in the world in which to do business.
We have the most open economy in the western world. We have a pro-business environment, with a world-class R&D
environment, and a competitive and transparent tax rate. Inward investment into Ireland is at record levels.
Ireland is ranked 1st in the world for labour force flexibility and adaptability and 2nd in the world for lack of protectionism.
So there are grounds for optimism, and grounds for redoubling our commitment to the hard work and hard decisions that are
beginning to bear fruit. Our Path to Recovery is not over; we have not reached our destination, but we are on the right road,
and we have come some distance.

Luxembourg and Ireland


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen
I wanted in closing to tell you how I see the relationship between our two countries.
Luxembourg and Ireland are two small, open economies in an increasingly competitive, highly globalised environment
fighting to attract investment, innovate and ultimately export our way to a sustainable economic future.
Of course, in doing so, there is strong, healthy competition between the two countries, nowhere more so than between our
respective financial centres. But there is also a level of complementarity.
One only has to look at the number of multinational companies established in both countries to see that we each offer
advantages for investors, and add distinct value to the international business models of such organisations. Our financial
centres, for example, continue to win new business and grow at an impressive rate, even in these times of crisis. The Irish
Government, as in Luxembourg, is strongly committed to the sector, particularly as a necessary source of jobs for our young
workforce.
We also work hard to create the right environment for innovation, and to ensure that our imaginative start-ups are able to
flourish.
In an international context, it is the case that our respective business models are coming under closer scrutiny. Taxation is
obviously one such area. The Irish Government is fully committed to working with EU and OECD partners on issues of
concern while, at the same time, is determined to remain a pro-business, pro-investment economy with strong competitive
advantages, in the interests of our citizens and our partners.

Heart of the EU
Like Luxembourg, Ireland sees itself as very much at the heart of the European Union. We believe in an EU with strong
institutions operating on the basis of the community method; in an EU where solidarity between Member States is a
commitment, not a concession; in an EU of shared values that is tolerant, inclusive and open to the world; and in an EU
where the views and positions of all Member States are respected.
2014 will be a very busy and challenging year for Europe. We may no longer be in crisis management mode, but the
financial, economic and social challenges are still there - and as keenly felt as ever by our citizens.
This will also be a year of institutional change, with the European Parliament elections in spring, and the new Commission
taking office in the autumn.
So there is much to do. For my part, I look forward to working with friends in Luxembourg and throughout Europe to meet
these challenges with decisiveness and commitment. Our citizens expect no less.
Mr Chairman, thank you again for allowing me the honour of speaking tonight at this wonderful event. Let me take this
opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2014.
https://www.dfa.ie/ie/nuacht-agus-na-meain/oraidi/speeches-
archive/2014/jan/addressbythetanaistetotheluxembourgbusinessfederationfedi
l/

Ireland the most welcoming


country for Syrian refugees,
according to major European
study
IRC chief executive David Miliband says the study shows the vast
majority of Europeans have not lost their hearts.
Sep 16th 2016, 2:45 PM 23,181 Views 147 Comments
Share209 Tweet Email3
Hundreds of people turned out last year to call on the Government to
take in more refugees.
IRISH PEOPLE HAVE been ranked as the most sympathetic
towards the arrival of Syrian refugees, in a poll of 12
European countries.
The International Rescue Committees (IRC) study into
public sympathy towards Syrian refugees, published today,
shows almost nine out of 10 respondents in Ireland (87%)
expressed some degree of sympathy towards Syrian refugees
arriving here.
Ireland was followed by Spain (86%), Germany (84%) and
Portugal (84%).
IRC chief executive David Miliband argued that the studys
findings reveal the vast majority of Europeans have not lost
their hearts.
He said there is a clear call here for governments to
combine compassion with competence in responding to the
refugee crisis.
The research shows 39% of Irish people voiced concern
about refugees placing pressure on the States welfare
system, while 36% worried that refugees would put pressure
on public services like education, health and housing.
Over a quarter (27%) of Irish people surveyed said it would
cost the Government too much money to take care or
refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.

International Rescue Committee refugee tracking map.


Source: International Rescue Committee
National security
Only three out of 10 of the more than 12,500 Europeans
interviewed in the study identified national security as one
of their top three concerns about the influx of refugees.
In Ireland, less than one in four said refugees were a risk to
the States security.
Attitudes towards refugees in the Czech Republic, Romania
and Slovakia were noticeably more negative with 61% of
Czechs expressing concern that refugees posed a national
security risk.
Some 54% of those surveyed in the Czech Republic said
refugees would increase crime rates followed by 47% in
Slovakia and 41% in Romania.
The survey was carried out by Ipsos Mori in August 2016 in
the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland,
Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the
UK, with an average of 1,050 people surveyed in each
country.

A pro-refugee protestor tracks Taoiseach Enda Kenny.


Source: Rollingnews.ie
1,223 annually
The overall findings of the data show that levels of sympathy
towards Syrian refugees are generally high across Europe,
with three out of four people expressing some degree of
compassion towards refugees.
The IRC is calling for European countries to resettle 50% of
all Syrian refugees or 25 per cent of all refugees globally.
This means 540,000 people over five years or 108,000 per
year, a number calculated by taking into account the
population and GDP of each country.
Ireland would need to settle a total of 6,116 refugees or 1,223
annually to meet the IRC target. Last year Ireland resettled
178 refugees.
http://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-refugees-2-2982893-Sep2016/
Sister of murdered schoolgirl slams Garda,
claiming they 'obstructed inquest
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The sister of murdered Northern Ireland schoolgirl Arlene Arkinson
has launched a stinging attack on the Garda, accusing them of
obstructing an inquest into her sisters death.

Making a direct appeal for the Garda Commissioner to hand over


potentially key information, Kathleen Arkinson hit out at the
perceived procrastination and delay preventing the case from
concluding.

Ms Arkinson said she felt the justice system has failed her family in
every way.

Kathleen Arkinson, sister of murdered Northern Ireland schoolgirl Arlene


Arkinson, outside Belfast Coroners Court.

"We have done everything we can and we are still here a year and a
half later for an inquest for one child who was 15 years old.
"I would appeal to Noirin OSullivan to please look into this as soon
as possible because it is dragging our lives away.
"We cant go on like this forever."

Arlene Arkinson

The inquest, which opened in February 2016, has been stalled for
months to facilitate the sharing of information from legal authorities
in the Republic.
The material includes papers on the lines of inquiry pursued by the
Gardai, searches carried out south of the border and a purported
meeting between gardai and the former girlfriend of Robert Howard,
the prime suspect in the murder.
Garda officers may also be asked to give oral evidence.
During a preliminary hearing at Belfasts Coroners Court Judge Brian
Sherrard moved to allay any conspiracy theories.
He said: "The delay that has been caused is not because this court
harbours any concerns about the family whatsoever.
"In terms of rumour or suspicion, I can put that to bed straight away.
The delay in this case is purely because we are awaiting a
comprehensive response from An Garda Siochana."
Arlene, 15, from Castlederg, Co Tyrone, vanished after a night out
across the border in Co Donegal in August 1994.
She was last seen being driven down a country road by Howard, a
convicted paedophile with a lengthy criminal history.
Despite extensive searches, including a fresh dig in Tyrone last year,
her body has never been found.

The inquest opened in February 2016 and has heard evidence from
dozens of witnesses including Howards former girlfriend Patricia
Quinn, and senior detectives who worked on the case.
Information from the Gardai has been described as the last piece of
the jigsaw and the coroner mooted Halloween as a potential
deadline for closing the inquest.
"After we get to that point then the balance will be tilting towards
decision rather than further delay," added Judge Sherrard.
The Arkinson family have closely followed proceedings and were in
court for the brief hearing.
Their barrister Henry Toner QC expressed frustration and demanded
an explanation for the 13-month delay from An Garda Siochana.
Mr Toner said: "It is an insult to the Arkinson family who are
suffering misery by these delays which are inexcusable and
unwarranted.
"The family is appalled and deeply upset by the failure of the Garda
to assist either properly or at all.
"They believe that the delay and procrastination adds to the rumour
and suspicion that already exists in relation to Arlenes murder.
"It is important that the Garda is held to account."
Meanwhile, in a statement read out afterwards, Kathleen Arkinson
said: "The Arkinson family are appalled and deeply upset as a result
of exquisite cruelty inflicted unnecessarily upon them by the Garda
in not assisting the coroners court properly or at all.
"The Arkinson family wonder what the Garda have to hide in relation
to Robert Howard, their association with him and others who
associate with him.
"The Arkinson family believe that the investigation into the murder
of Arlene, a 15-year-old child, should not be delayed further by the
Garda.
"The Arkinson family call upon Garda chief Noirin OSullivan to
personally intervene in this case.
"They plead with the Garda chief to instruct her officers who possess
all relevant information in relation to Robert Howard and the murder
of Arlene to release this information immediately to His Honour
Judge Sherrard so that the inquest into Arlenes death can be
concluded."
The case has been adjourned for mention in September.

Reporting: Lesley-Anne McKeown, Press Association


https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/sister-of-murdered-
schoolgirl-slams-gardai-claiming-they-obstructed-inquest-794740.html
Bar Council chair calls
for focus on
maintaining high
standards
Updated / Thursday, 22 Jun 2017

Paul McGarry said Ireland's judges continued to be held in very


high regard
The Chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland has said
more resources should be devoted to maintaining
high standards in the judiciary rather than spending
money on an elaborate, expensive quango to decide
which judges should be recommended for
appointment.
In a speech at the annual Bar Council of Ireland
Chairman's Dinner, Senior Counsel Paul McGarry
said the judicial system in this State continues to be
chronically underfunded.
He said Ireland had the lowest number of judges per
person in the OECD and it remained problematic that
those judges had not been adequately resourced
through the provision of researchers, registrars or
support staff.
In a strong criticism of the Government's proposed
judicial appointments commission, Mr McGarry said it
was "worrying" that "some people" seemed to think it
was better to spend money on a system for the
appointment of people to an elaborate, expensive
quango simply to decide which judges should be
recommended for appointment, instead of devoting
more resources to the maintenance of high standards
in the judiciary.
Mr McGarry said Ireland's judges continued to be
held in very high regard and he said this was
because their independence was unimpeachable.

Mr McGarry said the Legal Services Regulatory


Authority had got up and running in the past year. He
said elements of that legislation were welcome.
The new costs regime was long overdue, he said,
adding that the Bar Council regretted any further
delays in getting that up and running.
He said provisions on regulation and discipline were
also broadly to be welcomed.
However Mr McGarry said there remained
uncertainty about the cost of all this, saying
provisions of the Act relating to business structures,
multi-discliplinary practices and partnerships seemed
to make no sense to the Bar Council in a market this
size.
He said the Bar Council's arguments on these issues
seemed to be getting some traction.
Mr McGarry told the dinner that in recent months the
Bar Council had been engaged with Government
agencies and law firms about the potential
opportunities for legal services in the wake of Brexit.
He said the Council was glad to see that some of the
ideas put forward would feature in attempts to attract
global businesses to locate here.
https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0622/884881-bar-council/

Great to see this gentleman today and by god are we living in one corrupt country and the
garda are up to there necks in it

In which Denis gets himself


sued
by GERARD CUNNINGHAM posted on DECEMBER 2, 2016
This article first appeared in Village magazine.
Perhaps the strangest event on the Irish media landscape
last month was prompted by Sinn Fin MEP Lynn
Boylans publication of a report into media ownership in
Ireland, commissioned by the European United
Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) grouping in the
European Parliament.
The report itself by Belfast solicitors Gavin booth and
Darragh Mackin of KRW Law, and barristers Caoilfhionn
Gallagher and Jonathan Price of Londons Doughty Street
Chambers contained little that was new, laying out once
again the dominant position held by RT and by
individual businessman Denis OBrien, through his
ownership of Communicorp and significant shareholding
in Independent News & Media.

INDIVIDUAL BUSINESSMAN DENIS OBRIEN. IMAGE VIA ITU


PICTURES/FLICKR
Released on 24 October, the report had little impact at
first. In his Irish times column, Fintan OToole noted the
coverage, from the extensive the Sunday Business Post
carried both a news report by business editor Tom Lyons
and an opinion column by Boylan; the Sunday Times
carried the story on the front page; Pat Leahy had a report
with quotes from Boylan in the Irish Times to the
minimalist the Sunday Independent carried only a
comment from Liam Collins, not about the report directly,
but about Guardian media writer Roy Greenslades
tiresome blog. In traditional Sindo style. three of the five
paragraphs Collins devoted to the story were spent
slagging off Sinn Fin.
There were some other straight news reports, from
thejournal.ie and the Examiner. But apart from
communications minister Denis Naughten being forced to
admit he hadnt read the report hours after he had
dismissed its findings effectively killing it as a news
story, the report seemed destined to decline into obscurity,
gathering dust and never to be mentioned again outside of
an occasional retrospective the next time someone looked
at the Irish media scene.
And then, for some reason, Denis OBrien decided to
breathe life into the story, issuing an oddly rambling and
misspelled statement: a series of barely connected
paragraphs, jumping randomly from topic to topic.
Aficionados will recognise the work of his earthly
representative, James Morrissey.
OBriens statement, a series of barely connected
paragraphs, jumping randomly from topic to topic, will
look familiar to a great many copy-editors and sub-editors.
It resembles nothing so much as the celebrity column, a
series of disjointed observations and wisecracks hacked
into a workable column by an overworked staff writer, and
headed with the name of a minor sporting of
entertainment name.
The statement, written in the first person, and therefore
presumably authored in the first instance by OBrien, gets
off to a predictable enough start, challenging the
independence of the report, and indeed the very notion
that anything commissioned by a Sinn Fin could ever be
independent. (Hardly.)
It does land one pertinent early blow, pointing out that
while the report identified RT as also holding a dominant
media position in Ireland, it devotes no focus to the
broadcaster. This might give the impression that the entire
report is devoted to OBrien. This is not the case. For
example. the authors devote 12 pages to a general
consideration of the importance of media plurality (and
how plurality differs from economic competition). In
addition, the authors highlight not only OBriens
ownership of media outlets, but his propensity to go to the
courts to protect his reputation, as having a chilling effect.
The Report notes that since 2010, he has gone to court 21
times, 12 times against media outlets, once against a PR
firm, twice against the Moriarty tribunal, once against Dil
ireann, and once against an individual TD, Colm
Keaveney. In addition, there were threats of legal action
which were not followed up, such as that reported against
satirical website the Waterford Whisperer.
However, OBrien soon tires of the RT whataboutery, and
returns to the topic of Sinn Fin pushing its agendas,
overtly and covertly. To this end, he embarks on a
rambling walk, stopping first to point out that An
Phoblacht has criticised RT, and then to defence Apples
tax accounting practices, calling Sinn Fins criticism of
their tax practices anti-enterprise and anti-Irish.
OBrien then regains his focus once more, fact-checking
that he is not the chairperson of Communicorp, he just
owns the company. But then his concentration seems to
wander again, and he inadvertently makes the authors
point for them. Is the media objective when it is talking
and writing about itself? asks Denis (or perhaps his
human avatar).
Pausing to note that INM was days from forced closure
in 2011, OBrien then complains that RT never contacted
him for comment when Boylans report was published.
Kevin Bakhurst, RTs deputy director-general and
managing director of news and current affairs, was
prompted in response to post on Twitter that the
broadcaster did ask for a response on the report and
Denis OBriens advisers chose not to give one yesterday,
going so far as to post a screenshot of email
correspondence.
OBrien then continues with his reflections on the parlous
state of Irish media finances, noting a very challenging
environment and that the Irish Times is considering
various funding options, before predicting that some
media companies will not survive this decade without
radical restructuring.
He then closes by returning to the theme of Sinn
Fin/IRA funding, closing with the hope that perhaps the
political party will at some point get into the business of
becoming a fully-fledged broadcaster and publisher and
create some jobs for a change. Sunday Times writer Mark
Tighe was the first to point out that the Irish Independent
report on the statement amended this to simply Sinn
Fin.
On the Sunday following OBriens midweek broadside,
Sunday Independent writers did not mention the affair,
except for Shane Coleman, who wrote a column pooh-
poohing the idea that Denis OBrien has an over-weening
influence, because everybody is reading blogs and
watching youtube as part of their varied media diet.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Business Post reported that KRW
Law reject completely the suggestion that the authors
were paid by the IRA and the allegation that we were
anything less than independent. The report, the law firm
said, was paid for by the European Parliament via the
GUE/NGL group, and they would be issuing formal
letters.
In a bizarro twist, the result of OBriens response to the
Boylan sponsored report may see the billionaire, so long
the plaintiff, on the other side in a defamation hearing.

http://faduda.net/articles/social/in-which-denis-gets-himself-sued/







Siteserv: media review


by GERARD CUNNINGHAM posted on MAY 8, 2015
An edited version of this article appeared in
Village magazine, May 2015 edition
Its not exactly scientific, but sometimes there are insights
to be gained into Siteserv coverage from a survey of
newspaper front pages.

On Sunday 26 April, five days after Catherine Murphy TD


revealed the answers to Freedom of Information requests
at an open press conference announced through her
twitter feed, each of the broadsheet Sunday papers
covered the weeks events to date.
The Sunday Times led with Share trades spike before
Siteserv deal, reporting a sharp rise in shares traded in
the days before state-owned Irish Bank Resolution
Corporation (IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank and Irish
Nationwide Building Society) received bids for the utility
support company. The companys assets were eventually
sold to Milligton, an Isle of Man registered Denis OBrien
vehicle.
State should probe AIB and Nama write-offs, the
Sunday Business Post blared across eight columns in a
twin deck headline, reporting Mike Aynsleys call to widen
the inquiry into debt write-offs beyond Siteserv and IBRC,
part of an extended interview they carried with the former
IBRC boss. The Post also revealed big business names
who benefited from debt writedowns from the former
Anglo bank, including Denis OBrien, TV3, and Sean
Quinns family.
The Irish Times doesnt publish on Sundays, but the
previous days Weekend Edition was still on the shelves
for a second day as the Sundays paraded their wares. It led
with IBRC declined to appoint senior civil servant to
board, says Duke.
Only the Sunday Independent failed to lead with the story,
preferring to go with promised pay rises for public sector
workers based on briefings from unnamed senior cabinet
sources and a senior minister in the lead-up to the
Spring Statement. Tax cuts and increased spending were
also promised, according to anonymous coalition
sources cited in the article. The ongoing Siteserv saga did
make the Independents front page, but below the fold, in
a story headlined Revealed: Dukes wanted to oust
Noonans man in IBRC.
Between the covers, the Irish Times and Sunday
Independent each devoted a full page to the story, while
the Sunday Business Post spread its Aynsley interview
over two pages. In a column dealing with the ;latest
opinion poll results, Pat Rabbitte wondered if the Siteserv
story might have had something to do with the
governments declining numbers. The Sunday
Independent inside coverage followed the theme of its
front page story, concentrating on the rift between IBRC
and the Department of Finance. The Irish Times also has a
opinion column on the subject (two if you include Stephen
Collins article, though it was less about Siteserv than the
ongoing Oireachtas banking inquiry). The Sunday Times
carried a full page of coverage on page 8, in addition to the
Dukes story on page 2, which also carried their report on
the expected Spring Statement. The Sunday Times capped
off its coverage with an editorial drawing a line back to the
Moriarty tribunal, framing the story in the context of a
long term relationship between Denis OBrien and Fine
Gael.
There is a maxim in politics, coined by British Labour
party director of communications Alastair Campbell, that
no minister can survive beyond a two-week feeding frenzy
in the press. Two of the three Sunday broadsheets the
Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post led with
Siteserv related stories for the second week on 3 May,
although the Sunday Independent opted for the Lenihan
familys ongoing efforts to protect Brian Lenihans
reputation. It remains to be seen whether the story has
any permanent impact.

http://faduda.net/articles/social/siteserv-media-review/

Media looking at tribunal


looking at media
by GERARD CUNNINGHAM posted on MARCH 1, 2017
This article first appeared in Village magazine,
March 2017 edition
The Disclosures Tribunal or the Charleton tribunal, as it
may come to be known got of to a surprisingly quick
start, with Supreme Court Justice Peter Charleton making
an opening statement on Monday 27 February, only eleven
days after the first draft of the terms of reference were
approved by the cabinet.
Charleton is no stranger to garda tribunals, having
previously been lead counsel for the Morris tribunal,
which spent the five years from 2003 to 2008 examining
goings-on in Donegal during the 1990s, and he will be
aware of just how quickly they can spiral out of control.
His opening statement contained a stern warning that
every lie told before this tribunal will be a waste of what
ordinary men and women have paid for through their
unremitting efforts. Every action of obfuscation, of
diversion of focus, and of non-cooperation is unwelcome
for that reason. This shot across the bows of all parties is
meant to show that the judge is in no mood to tolerate
multi-year sittings.

MR JUSTICE PETER CHARLETON READING THE OPENING STATEMENT AT


THE DISCLOSURES TRIBUNAL
But Morris, too, began optimistically, with reckless early
talk during the first March day of hearings that it would all
be over by Christmas. That optimism lasted all of a few
hours, until Garda Martin Leonard a local GRA rep in
Letterkenny was called to the stand. Described later by
retired Freddy Morris as incorrigible and unbiddable,
Leonard bluntly told the tribunal in early evidence that
you dont want to hang your own.
Morris later went on to identify Garda speak, defined as
the practice which the judiciary have witnessed in the
Courts for many years whereby Garda in the witness box
will parry and fence with counsel in a well-recognised
choreography to avoid answering counsels question. The
eight reports of the Morris tribunal, with their many
recommendations, sought to challenge and change that
Garda culture, and led to reforms including the Garda
Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and the
Garda Inspectorate, as well as changes in aspects of
policing from informant handling to the conduct of
interrogations.
However, the Morris tribunal showed a marked reluctance
to criticise any Garda outside Donegal. This time, the
tribunals focus will move away from the regional divisions
and districts and into Garda headquarters in the Phoenix
Park.
But what will ensure media interest in the tribunal is the
tribunals interest in the media. As outlined in the opening
statement, the tribunal has been specifically tasked in the
public interest to find out whether the media was used as
an instrument for the dissemination of lies. Everyone
loves a bit of attention, and this is as true of journalists as
anyone else.
Leaving aside until another time the specifics of who may
have said what to which journalist, it is somewhat
remarkable to hear a Supreme Court justice wonder aloud
whether journalistic privilege even exists. Granted, the
Irish courts have historically been sceptical about the
extent of claims by the press of a right to protect their
sources, and have sought to limit any such right, but to
question whether it exists at all flies in the face of
established Irish and European jurisprudence. Journalists
have on occasion asserted a pretty much absolute right to
privilege in protecting their sources (and have at times
been jailed for contempt for doing so), while courts have
considered that any such privilege is at best limited and
must be weighed against other rights and the public good,
but there was on the face of it at least an agreement that a
right of some sort, however limited and ill-defined, did
exist.
In that context then, it is worth considering the wide-
ranging questions Charleton raised about privilege in his
opening statement. Is there a privilege against giving
evidence, including relevant records, where someone
communicates in confidence, or off the record, as the
phrase goes to a journalist? If that privilege exists, does it
exist because of the public interest in protecting
investigations by the media? Does journalistic privilege
attach to communications to a journalist where that
communication by the source may not be in the public
interest but, instead, where the source is perhaps solely
motivated by detraction or calumny?
In informer privilege, because of the danger to the life of
those who confidentially help the police, the privilege is
that of the informer and even lasts beyond death,
according to some cases from abroad. The only person, in
our law, who can waive the privilege, is the informer. In
legal professional privilege, similarly, the client holds the
privilege, and not the lawyer who gives legal advice on the
basis of confidential instructions. Only the client can waive
the privilege and reveal the confidential instructions: not
the lawyer. Here, the privilege, if there is one, may attach
to a communication to a journalist in the interests of
providing truthful information to the public, but is it
possible that such a privilege does not apply to using the
media as an instrument of naked deceit? That may or may
not have happened. Either way, the existing law suggests
that the privilege is that of the confidential informant and
not that of the journalist. However, the tribunal has no
settled view on the matter and careful consideration will
have to be given to the issue after submissions are heard.
Its difficult to imagine a court entertaining the argument
that legal privilege is pierced if a clients instructions to a
lawyer were untrue or malicious in nature, yet this seems
to be what the tribunal is contemplating as an argument
against source protection.
It has already been stated by several commentators that
the treatment of Sergeant Maurice McCabe and others is
hardly an encouragement to other Garda officers who
might wish to come forward and report concerns about the
police force. A pre-emptive strike against a cornerstone of
investigative journalism seems like ill-judged at the outset
of a tribunal established to allay concerns about
allegations that senior members of An Garda Sochna
sought to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe because of
complaints he made about the performance of An Garda
Sochna.
http://faduda.net/articles/social/media-looking-at-
tribunal-looking-at-media/



This country badley needs a general Election ,and for gods sake do have the sense to vote "Sinn Fein " and
lets get rid of F/G and F/F for they are nothing but parasites


THEY WOULDN'T BE LET INTO HELL THEY WOULD RUIN I.T WITH THEIR CORRUPTION & LIES.
I hope people realise that no matter who get to be in government.. the wages, salaries, expenses, junkets,
etc.. come with the offices of gov. having said that.. it is time for a change of faces in there.





Our "President" PROTESTING,, and Now he betrays us All by Selling Ireland s Resources
and the Irish People out he Signed the eviction Bill, Water bill and much More Fucking LB
Traitor, and a Dwarf prick

Irelands Corruption Bill must


be implemented
PADDY COSGRAVETHURSDAY, 22 JUNE 2017

Quick Summary: According to a 2016 OECD report on corruption in Ireland,


legislation for criminalising the bribery of foreign public officials and
corporate liability for such bribery... has still not been adopted.

http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/IRELAND-Phase-3-Written-Follow-Up-
Report-ENG.pdf
The word breach is perhaps too strong. Put more politely Ireland has yet to
fully adopt the OECDs Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public
Officials in International Business. In addition, Ireland also has yet to fully
adopt the United Nations Convention against Corruption. This, as the OECD
points out, is an unusual situation for a western nation.
If we in Ireland honestly want to tackle corruption, then we need to start by at
the very least implementing Irelands first truly comprehensive Corruption Bill
since arguably 1889. The good news is the draft legislation is ready, and while
not as all encompassing as many hoped, its still a leap forward. That draft
legislation has been largely sitting on ice for half a decade, waiting for a
government to adopt the legislation. All indications are that our new
Government will.

CONVENTION ON COMBATING
BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC
OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS
and Related Documents

http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/ConvCombatBribery_ENG.pdf

Over the last thirty years the speed of positive change in Ireland has been
incredible. And it's only accelerating.
The 1980's was a dark decade. But in that decade there were a few positive
lights. With each passing decade in Ireland the number of bright lights has
constantly increased. In a very short space of time, Ireland has become a more
open, tolerant and modern society.
Of course problems remain: persistent poverty, a new cost of living crisis,
restricted reproductive rights and then some more. However, I think theres
every good reason to be incredibly optimistic.
The energy of a generation hungry for a better Ireland is only growing. When
once we cowered under the influence of big institutions like the church, we
now stand up and speak out. Most recently over the Catholic Churchs control
of our new National Maternity Hospital.
Ireland is now regarded as the most open economy in the western world. As
we all know, our economy therefore depends more on the rest of the world than
just about any other nation. Quite understandably, as the most open economy in
the western world, sensitivity to international perception is hardwired into our
national psyche. We know its important to be liked in the world. And
thankfully we are very much liked.
We're known the world over for our hospitality, boasting three of the worlds
top five friendliest cities. But the statistics show something even more positive.
Our openness to the ideas and attitudes of people from other nations and
religions is more positive than almost any other country in the western world.
We listen and respond to what those from outside of Ireland think, and we
welcome new citizens from Syria and elsewhere more positively than any other
nation.
Unfortunately, in recent years, due mostly to the reckless and corrupt actions of
a very small clique, Irelands international reputation has suffered.
Perhaps for the first time, theres been a flood of negative headlines about
corruption in Ireland in major international newspapers. The change in attitudes
towards Ireland goes far deeper than those headlines. And many of us have felt
that change in perception towards Ireland first hand.
However, what matters most now for Ireland is how we are seen as a country to
move forward. Part of moving forward involves slamming shut the doors that
facilitated reckless and corrupt behaviour in the past.
I became aware of international perception of corruption in Ireland earlier this
year at a dinner in San Francisco. I told a general counsel of a major
technology company that she was entirely wrong to say Ireland was in breach
of a nearly two decades old UN convention against corruption. I explained to
her that to imply that Ireland's anti-corruption laws were outdated and out of
line with the rest of the western world was simply wrong.
It turned out I was entirely wrong, and she was entirely right.
Ireland is at odds with various international anti-corruption conventions, which
mostly exist to compel developing world nations to comprehensively tackle
corruption. These anti-corruption conventions dont simply exist, we as a
country have signed up to them. But, and this is critical, successive Irish
governments have failed to subsequently implement the corresponding
legislation.
The OECD, for example, has highlighted this issue in a number of reports, one
as recent as 2016:
...despite taking preliminary steps to address weaknesses in its laws for
criminalising the bribery of foreign public officials and corporate liability for
such bribery, legislation for this purpose has still not been adopted. Moreover,
Ireland still needs to take urgent steps to ensure it has the capacity and
resources to detect, investigate and prosecute cases of foreign bribery.
The deeper problem with corruption in Ireland some would argue is not
corruption itself, but the lack of the necessary laws to stop or at the very least
reduce corruption.
Thankfully much of the required legislation to help Ireland tackle corruption in
a more modern way now exists. It was originally drafted by the Department of
Justice in 2012. While it is classified as priority legislation, it is yet to be put to
a vote of parliament by successive governments.
Whatever the reasons for the delay, all that now remains is for our politicians to
vote through the most comprehensive update to our anti-corruption legislation
since about 1889. And with a new Government now in office, all the
indications are that this legislation will be introduced.
In recent days I have spoken to most major Irish companies, law firms,
accountancy firms and banks. None oppose this legislation, known as the
Corruption Bill. They all both want and need this legislation. The legislation,
contrary to what some might assume, protects Irish companies and their
employees from bad actors.
The Corruption Bill most importantly protects Irelands reputation
internationally. And as the most open economy in the western world we trade
on that reputation more than anyone else. When our children emigrate for
work, when our companies travel abroad to do business, and when international
companies consider doing business in Ireland, our reputation matters most.
Yesterday I asked a number of leading figures from around the world, some
with interests in or ties to Ireland, if they felt strongly enough to put their name
to an open letter encouraging the Irish Government to now enact the necessary
and already drafted anti-corruption legislation.
The response is already overwhelmingly positive.
In early September I will send a letter to the Government with at least 100
signatures. The signatories will include some of the most influential CEOs,
investors, journalists, academics and policy advocates in the world, as well as
those running international companies with a presence in Ireland. And of
course the many Irish professional services firms, banks and Irish companies in
favour of the Corruption Bill.

Irelands implementation of the United Nations


Convention against Corruption
16 July 2015

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Executive%20Summary%20of%20Irelands%2
0evaluation%20under%20the%20UN%20Mechanism%20for%20the%20Revie
w%20of%20Implementation%20of%20the%20Convention%20Against%20Co
rruption..pdf/Files/Executive%20Summary%20of%20Irelands%20evaluation
%20under%20the%20UN%20Mechanism%20for%20the%20Review%20of%2
0Implementation%20of%20the%20Convention%20Against%20Corruption..pd
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There is growing concern about corruption in Ireland especially
about elected politicians, Europes foremost human rights authority
has warned.
Various reforms recently introduced, such as the freedom of
information and ethics acts are too complex and in some cases
conflict with one another.
The report, from the Council of Europe in which Ireland and 46 other
governments are represented, warns that there is too much political
interference in the appointment and promotion of judges and has
called for changes to maintain their independence.
They also want laws that threaten government ministers, elected
politicians and others with six months jail for disclosing confidential
information scrapped as it discourages whistleblowing.
It notes that Irelands reputation has been slipping with
Transparency International placing it at its lowest ever ranking
among the business community two years ago at 25th, behind
Uruguay, Chile and the Bahamas.
The report calls for more stringent rules for politicians on conflicts of
interest and asset declarations to include liabilities and those of
their closest connections. More streamlined rules and more
independent way of assessing politicians compliance was needed.
They say all the rules that apply to government ministers should be
extended to cover all elected politicians, and to their staff, and it
should not be limited to just getting money, but should be extended
to cover other advantages.
It raised a red flag over the fact that the clerk of the Dil or Seanad
can dismiss complaints against members without referring it to the
relevant committee. They question why complaints are only made
public if there is a negative finding.
They are also concerned that a minister can face six months jail for
disclosing confidential government information, irrespective of the
reason for doing so. This could mean that people are discouraged
from becoming whistleblowers.
While the Government pointed to a range of protections, the report
believes it is not sufficient and recommends that the whole issue be
clarified to ensure whistleblowers are protected.
The report took on board the complaints of the judiciary that the
public campaign and referendum on cutting their salaries damaged
their standing. There is now a two-tier payment for judges
depending when they take up their posts and the constitutional ban
on changing their salaries has been scrapped.
A judicial council should be established to deal with such issues in
the future, to be involved in appointments of judges, establish an
ethical code and judicial training practices.
The report is very critical of politicians role in selecting judges and
says judges promotion is even more susceptible to political
interference and urges a judicial council to be involved.
The report, from the Council of Europes Group of States against
Corruption to which Ireland has signed up, monitors anti-corruption
laws and practices and focuses on the measures in place nationally
to prevent corruption among elected politicians, judges and
prosecutors.
It makes 11 recommendations to the Government and has asked it to
report in 18 months on the steps it has taken to implement the
recommendations.
In the short term it's an imperative that the Irish Government enact the
Corruption Bill to bring us into line with the UN Convention against
Corruption 2003 and the OECDs Convention on Combating Bribery of
Foreign Public Officials in International Business.
The Government needs to do this to ensure that the strongest currency we have
as a country and people, our reputation, remains as positive into the future, as it
has in the past.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/paddy-cosgrave/irelands-corruption-bill-
must-be-implemented/10154502233906109/