Saturday 20 January 2018

Docklands report damaged my reputation, claims former chairman

Lar Bradshaw, formerly of the DDDA
Lar Bradshaw, formerly of the DDDA

Daniel McConnell Political Correspondent

THE former chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has accused the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) of making misleading claims that have caused him enormous reputational damage.

In correspondence to the C&AG, Seamus McCarthy, and to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Lar Bradshaw accuses Mr McCarthy of making "erroneous conclusions" that he wants corrected.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan last year announced his decision to wind up the DDDA following the publication of a special report on the body by the C&AG.

The report contained damning findings about the authority's conduct, particularly in relation to its involvement in the controversial purchase of the former Irish Glass Bottle factory site in Ringsend.

In his letter to the PAC, dated December 6, Mr Bradshaw said that the report contained conclusions which he felt were "incorrect, inconsistent and incomplete, and as a result, may have inadvertently misled those who read it.

"The erroneous conclusions which he has drawn have caused enormous reputational damage to a number of people, including myself, and clearly formed the basis for many of the critical comments made by members of the PAC," Mr Bradshaw wrote.

WRONG

Mr Bradshaw also took issue with the fact that a draft copy of the C&AG's report into the DDDA's activities was not shared with him ahead of its final publication.

"There is something quite wrong with a process where I find myself being publicly held to account by the committee while being denied the same opportunities to review and comment on the draft report as other accountable persons," Mr Bradshaw wrote.

In a separate letter, sent straight to Mr McCarthy, Mr Bradshaw was extremely pointed in his criticisms.

"My purpose in writing to you is to see that the basic tenets of natural justice, which have been repeatedly ignored over the last several years are ignored no longer," he said.

Mr Bradshaw criticised Mr McCarthy for ignoring the fact that verbal comments made by the C&AG at a recent PAC meeting differ from his report's conclusions, that the former Anglo boss said must be corrected.

Separately, Mr Bradshaw said conclusions arrived at by Mr McCarthy relating to the actions of former DDDA directors were "incomplete and misleading".

Such incorrect and misleading statements "served to further fuel the gathering momentum against the authority's reputation", he said.

Irish Independent

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