I felt mugged over €4m Uganda aid, says official

The secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs said he felt “mugged” over the misappropriation of €4m of Irish taxpayers’ money in Uganda.

He is to meet Irish ambassadors in February to ensure similar controversy cannot happen elsewhere.

David Cooney told the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee he was “put-ting my hands up” over the Ugandan situation.

Mr Cooney said he was seeking to appoint a chief financial officer and Brendan Rogers, director general of the development co-operation directorate at Irish Aid, said there was a “skills shortage” when it came to accounting and finance in the department.

The Uganda money is being returned and several people have been arrested following involvement in a a fraud Mr Cooney said involved “high levels of collusion at senior level”.

“We ... maybe were not as alert to this kind of fraud as we should have been and certainly will be in future. It [the money] was not transferred into the account that it should have been and frankly that should not have happened. We should have tracked it through to its destination.”

Irish ambassadors have been told of the need to check similar problems have not occurred and Mr Cooney said he was checking the responses.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Related Articles

More in this Section

Carer grandparents feel taken for granted: study

Kerry driver guilty of crash perjury

Homeless man with trust fund seeks further €4,500

Former hospice chief loses case against ‘Irish Examiner’


You might also like

Breaking Stories

Micheál Martin refuses to rule out FF-FG coalition

Oops! Contractors return to burn white road markings from 'Game of Thrones' road

Block on Northern Ireland abortion law reform 'would betray women': Amnesty

St Raphael's centre closed after damning HIQA report

Lifestyle

You will not believe what this Kilkenny artist can do on his iPad

Vinyl: Sex and drugs and rock’n’roll in new HBO drama

Chapter and verse at the Cork International Poetry Festival

How engaged are the Irish abroad in the upcoming general election

More From The Irish Examiner