Saturday 21 April 2018

Garda union bosses face showdown

GRA general secretary Pat Ennis. Photo: Frank McGrath
GRA general secretary Pat Ennis. Photo: Frank McGrath

Niall O'Connor and Cormac McQuinn

Bosses at the Garda Representative Association (GRA) are facing an angry showdown next month after an internal audit found at least €14,500 was spent on holiday vouchers for senior officials.

Members of the association's Central Executive Council (CEC) last night said they will consider tabling a motion of no confidence in GRA general secretary Pat Ennis, who is at the centre of the controversy.

A GRA spokesman confirmed that Mr Ennis has refunded an "unsolicited" €1,500 holiday voucher that he received in 2012.

A number of other officials are believed to have received vouchers and have been contacted by the association's treasurer to provide an explanation.

Sources say the audit, which remains in draft form, will find that at least €14,500 was paid out in unsolicited holiday vouchers.

"The GRA can confirm that Pat Ennis was presented with an unsolicited holiday voucher worth €1,500 in 2012 in recognition of significant and non-salaried work completed in his role as chairman of the association's roster negotiating team; and that Mr Ennis voluntarily repaid that amount in full as soon as it became apparent that there was no executive approval for this holiday voucher," a GRA spokesman said.

"The treasurer of the association is currently establishing the facts relating to the purchase of holiday vouchers previously and will report to the Central Executive Committee at the scheduled September meeting. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further until this review is finalised," he added.

Last night, a number of GRA executive members confirmed that a vote of no confidence in Mr Ennis is on the cards as a result of the controversy.

"This has brought the GRA once again into disrepute. All options will be considered," one source said.

The issue of the unsolicited vouchers - and who sanctioned them - will be investigated in the coming weeks by the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee.

Irish Independent

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