Tanaiste determined to get answers on fresh Templemore allegations

Update 1.50pm: The Tánaiste and Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, has said she wants to get to the bottom of what went on at the garda training college in Templemore.

She was speaking after the Public Accounts Committee were given documents suggesting there was an offshore bank account in the name of the facility.

The watchdog is already looking at financial irregularities including the use of 50 bank accounts and taxpayers money being used for entertainment, gifts and for clubs and societies.

Frances Fitzgerald's told the Dáíl she concerned at failures to take action when this first emerged.

"We certainly need to understand why that action was not taken at the time to deal with the issue emerging at that point."

Earlier: New files revealed today have claimed the Garda college in Templemore may be linked to offshore bank accounts and bonuses connected to the laundry account at the facility, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith.

The files are being examined at a detailed private meeting of the Dail’s cross-party public accounts committee this morning.

The documents allege that the scandal hit garda college may be linked to offshore bank accounts in the college’s name.

In over 400 pages of documents sent by An Garda Síochána to the PAC, it is also claimed a laundry service bank account linked to the college was used in part to pay for bonuses, staff loans and funding entertainment and sport expenses.

The Garda college has been engulfed in scandal since March when a highly controversial audit revealed it had been renting out land it did not own and was running 50 previously unknown bank accounts.

The controversy has led to calls for both Garda commissioner and Justice Minister to resign.

The files given to the PAC last night include internal letters from the Garda audit team saying there have been internal allegations that the depth of the problems at Templemore would lead to people being taken away in handcuffs.

PAC Vice Chair Alan Kelly told Newstalk this morning how they plan to tackle the investigation:

"In the PAC we are going to work together and outline the way in which we are going to deal with this investigation in the PAC

"Next week I expect we will be bringing in a number of witnesses and every week to investigate these issues ..."

Additional reporting by digital desk 


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