The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is locked in a major legal stand-off with the Department of Justice and the Chief State Solicitor's Office over plans to quiz both over cost concerns about a Probation Services Project that has become the subject of litigation, writes John Drennan.
An internal PAC report into attempts to relocate the Bridge Project for young offenders said that despite costs of over €2m on the project, the "intended benefits have not been received". The Department and the CSO have both written to the PAC declining the invitation to attend for questioning, claiming that "discussions of the facts of this particular case publicly may prejudice negotiations and/or any litigation" between the State and the landlord.
Both letters drew the PAC's attention to the Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Compellability, Privileges and Immunities of Witnesses) Act 1997 that severely restricted the inquisitorial powers of committees.
PAC chairman John McGuinness said it was still his intention to discuss the case next Thursday.
Labour councillor gives up his seat
Labour councillor Bobby Fitzgerald has said he is resigning his seat on South Tipperary Co Council. He said his decision was informed by the view that "the policy and the agenda pursued by the Labour Party at national level is leading to untold hardship and misery to ordinary families and people the Labour Party should represent".
He is the third Labour councillor to resign from the party in a Tipperary constituency.
€4m spent on security at Shannon
The State has spent more than €4m on army personnel at Shannon Airport since 2003, providing security for US military flights passing through the airport. More than €1m was spent in 2003 alone, when the Iraq war began. Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter told Fianna Fail TD Timmy Dooley that An Garda Siochana "requested the Defence Forces to provide assistance in securing the airport". The security spend fell to €275,000 in 2012.
McFeely's Dublin home sells for €3m
The Ballsbridge home that bust developer Tom McFeely went to court to fight for has been sold for close to €3m. McFeely lost his battle to stop the repossession of 2 Ailesbury Road by Nama last year, saying it would leave his family "living on the side of the street".
It is understood to have gone sale agreed in the last week, having been put on the market immediately after the court case. McFeely defaulted on a €9.5m mortgage attached to the 5,000 sq ft property. He built the notorious Priory Hall complex, where residents were forced to move out 18 months ago due to serious safety concerns.
Man killed in single-vehicle accident
A man in his early 20s was killed in a single-vehicle accident at Lower Ballylynch, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, at 2.50am yesterday. Witnesses are asked to contact Clonmel Garda Station (052) 6177640, the garda confidential line (1800) 666 111 or any garda station.
No winner of €2m Lotto jackpot
THERE was no winner of last night's €2m Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 3, 11, 22, 28, 35, 37 (bonus 27).
There were no Match 5+bonus winners but there were 45 Match 5s who each get €1,517; 130 match 4+bonus (€132); 2,120 Match 4s €50; 3,372 Match 3+bonus (€21) and 33,907 Match 3s (€5). The Lotto Plus 1 numbers were 2, 7, 14, 17, 20, 42 (bonus 24) and the Lotto Plus 2 numbers were 12, 18, 22, 26, 27, 33 (bonus 43).
In the UK draw for stg£6.1m the numbers were 1, 11, 12, 27, 48, 49 (bonus 19).
Actor Delaney lands West End role
Irish actor Padraic Delaney has landed a starring role alongside Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in London's West End. The Wexford-born actor who shot to fame in The Wind That Shakes the Barley will tread the boards in Martin McDonagh's play The Cripple Of Inishmaan. Delaney, who previously starred in the award-winning television series The Tudors, will fly to London next month to begin rehearsing. The play will run for 12 weeks, starting in June, at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre.
Aer Lingus changes flight schedule
Aer Lingus has confirmed that from March 31, the morning scheduled flight from Shannon to London Heathrow will depart at 8.45am, writes Owen Hickey. The daily flight currently leaves Shannon at 7.30am, arriving at Heathrow at 9am. As a result, passengers will not land in London until the later time of 10.15am.
"Given 90 per cent of the people using the flight are going over to do business, I really can't understand how this will work at all," Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea said.
Family remember missing Mary
Two women will pray at a grotto today to remember Ireland's longest-missing person, Mary Boyle, who vanished 36 years ago. Ann Doherty, 42, her twin, and their mother Ann Boyle, 67, will attend a Mass that has been said for Mary every St Patrick's Day in St Mary's Church, Kincasslagh, Co Donegal. Mary disappeared during a visit to her grandparents in 1977. After the Mass, prayers will be said at the grotto beside the church.
Service for late horse trainer Fowler
A thanksgiving service takes place in Rathamoylan, Co Meath, at 2.30pm on Tuesday for the well-known horse trainer Lady Jennifer 'Chich' Fowler, wife of the late John Fowler and sister-in-law of trainer Jessica Harrington. She died unexpectedly last week following an illness.
Sligo dealership wins top Audi award
Audi Sligo has been named 'Dealer of the Year' at the inaugural Audi Dealer Network Awards. The event which took place at the G Hotel, Galway, last Friday saw the Sligo dealership take the top accolade. Audi Athlone and Audi Waterford came second and third place respectively.
Bomb found in Belfast 'was viable'
A mortar bomb found near a police station in Belfast on Friday was a "viable device", the PSNI said. The discovery adds to security concerns that dissident republicans are receiving assistance from former IRA engineers.
The increase in dissident activity is believed to be a primary reason why the PSNI is proposing to purchase two unmanned drone craft to monitor the area around the venue for the G8 summit in Co Fermanagh in June.
Chartered accountant leaves €4.1m
Chartered accountant Patrick G Cullinan, of New Forge Grange, Belfast, Northern Ireland, who died on February 10, 2011, has left €4,173,304 in his will.
Other wills: Basil Davis, sales rep, Harlech Downs, Goatstown Rd, Dublin, €1,412,685; Michael 'Noel' Kelly, company director, Taney Crescent, Dundrum, Dublin, €1,227,867; Manfred Wolfert, businessman, Zwickein, Saxony, Germany, €1,233,804; Edward Gavin, doctor, Royal Oak Rd, Bagnelstown, Carlow, €1,027,467; Mary Lambert, puppeteer, Clifton Terrace, Monkstown, Dublin, €837,489.
In last week's wills Agnes Tarpey's name was misspelled.
The value of wills includes property, including the family home, and should not be regarded as cash amounts