No assurance on Templemore accounts an incredible revelation – David Cullinane TD
David Cullinane, Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee, today expressed his shock at the lack of oversight, experience and accountability at Templemore Garda Training College, adding that a fully independent police authority is now imperative.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“It is incredible that staff with no training or experience were given control of public monies at Templemore.
“The finding by the audit team that the training centre operated a complex web of accounts and investments cannot be allowed to be passed off as a ‘legacy issue'.
“The team was not able to give any assurance that financial controls were compliant with proper procedures.
“It comes at a time when public trust in An Garda Síochana is at an all-time low.
“The obfuscation and lack of accountability displayed by the Garda Commissioner means that the current commissioner is simply not able to bring the clean sweep that is needed to restore trust and ensure that An Garda Síochana adheres to standards expected by the general public.
"The use of de facto slush funds at the college once again raises more questions than answers about the internal operations of An Garda Síochana.”
Deputy Cullinane added:
“The Secretary General of
the Department of Justice, as well as the Garda Commissioner, need to
appear before the Public Accounts Committee and explain these findings
“A new beginning to policing is needed if trust is to be restored.
“We need a new and independent policing authority, as well as an open and transparent policing service that is accountable for its actions.
“And unfortunately, for all this to happen, Commissioner O’Sullivan will have to step aside.
“There is simply no way the public would have trust in reforms while the present Commissioner remains at the helm.”