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Sunday 17 December 2017

Gardai to pay back €131,000 in rent payments for farm land it didn't own

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Stock picture

Cormac Mc Quinn

An Garda Síochána will today repay €131,000 in rent collected from local farmers for land owned by another State agency near the controversial Templemore Training College.

The sum to be paid to the Office of Public Works (OPW) is around €6,000 more than what was originally thought to be owed and was revealed in correspondence to the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is probing Templemore.

An interim report by the Garda Internal Audit Unit found that €124,903 in rent collected for the rental of Dromad Farm between 2009 and 2013 was lodged to the "Garda College Restaurant Account" instead of being forwarded to the OPW.

It recommended the money be paid back. A note sent to the PAC shows the OPW asked that An Garda Síochána ensure the figure was the net rental income that had been received.

Records provided to An Garda by the auctioneer who administered the rental of the land indicated that the force actually received €131,260.

This figure was verified by the Garda audit unit, who advised this amount be repaid to the OPW.

TDs have been told that the payment will be made today.

The land is about 6km from Templemore and was originally destined to be turned into a tactical training centre.

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