Garda College allegations ‘serious, alarming, of profound concern’ – Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane said today that allegations raised today with regard to Templemore Garda College were very serious, very alarming, and of profound concern with regard to An Garda Síochána.
The Waterford TD said that nothing before the Committee today assuaged his fears of, at worst, a cover up, or, at best, delaying tactics.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“The author of the internal audit report into Templemore Garda College, Niall Kelly, has told the Public Accounts Committee that in his opinion there was interference, non-co-operation and the withholding of information with regard to the issues surrounding Templemore Garda College.
“He also alleged that there were attempts by Executive Director of Finance and Services Mr Culhane to undermine the Report and to attempt to try and get Mr Kelly to change his audit opinion, findings and recommendations.
“Indeed, Mr Culhane withdrew his comments after questioning from myself that the interim report from Mr Kelly was unprofessional.
“Mr Barrett told the committee today that the matters of non-cooperation were a reality.
“Both Mr Kelly and Mr Barrett saw a ‘circling of the wagons’ with regard to Templemore.
“These are serious allegations and they need to be pursued.
“It is also of strong concern to me that that we may have a situation where An Garda Síochána assumed the role of the C&AG, the PAC, and the Minister in terms of the exploration and resolution of a systems failure.
“There are questions as to why the Finance Directorate were apparently doing work that should have been done by internal audit.
“There are processes in place for a reason, and we have to find out why they were not followed.”