Saturday 20 January 2018

Force's 'civilians' to be quizzed over Templemore 'slush fund'

The Garda college in Templemore, Co Tipperary Picture: Damien Eagers
The Garda college in Templemore, Co Tipperary Picture: Damien Eagers
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The most senior civilian employees in Garda Headquarters will, for the first time, appear in front of the Dáil's spending watchdog without being accompanied by Garda management.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday stepped up its investigation into the Templemore 'slush fund' scandal. Members decided to split the probe into four modules.

On Wednesday, five of the most senior civilians in the force will give evidence about their roles in investigating the financial discrepancies.

The civilian personnel due to appear are executive director of finance and services Michael Culhane; head of legal affairs Ken Ruane; executive director of human resources and people development John Barrett; chief administrative officer Joseph Nugent; and head of audit Niall Kelly.

At a private meeting yesterday, a number of TDs including Sinn Féin's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, her party colleague David Cullinane and Independent TD for Galway West Catherine Connolly criticised the leak of the dossier that outlined the discrepancies to media outlets including the Irish Independent.

It's understood that various other senior figures in policing circles will also be called before the PAC in the coming weeks to discuss the Templemore issue.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan will appear on her own, PAC sources said. Other gardaí and officials who served in a management role at Templemore will also be called, as will senior figures with the Policing Authority to discuss their oversight role.

Irish Independent

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