Tuesday 20 August 2019

Garda Ombudsman to probe allegations of electoral fraud

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Stock photo

Sinead Kelleher

The Garda Ombudsman is to investigate allegations of electoral fraud in Kerry, it has emerged.

It's understood that the allegations centre around claims of the addition of voters to the supplementary electoral register. In order to be added to the supplementary register, voters have to present themselves to their local Garda station.

However, it has been alleged that a tranche of forms in Kerry may have been signed by a garda without electors being present.

A complaint was made to Killarney garda station on the matter last week.

A Garda source confirmed that an investigation was under way in Kerry this week but said they could not comment further.

It's understood the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) is to carry out a separate investigation into the claims.

This is likely to centre around the alleged conduct of gardaí.

Kerry County Council is assisting gardaí with their investigation but the matter is a criminal issue.

A total of 2,717 electors have been added to the register via the available supplementary register.

Kerry TD John Brassil has called for a full investigation to be carried out to "protect the integrity of the electoral register".

"The integrity of the electoral register is sacrosanct," he said.

"Procedures should be followed and any question mark around those procedures should be fully investigated," he added.

The allegation of electoral fraud and investigation comes just days before the country takes to the polls in the local elections.

Kerry County Council estimates the electorate in Kerry to number some 117,000 inhabitants for this year's local elections.

Irish Independent

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