Dublin Port spend ‘was appropriate’

Dublin Port spend ‘was appropriate’
Dublin Port

The board of Dublin Port Company has again strenuously denied any impropriety over credit card expenditure and said it was happy to face TDs and senators over its governance at an Oireachtas Transport Committee hearing.

Reports in recent weeks by the Sunday Independent highlighted spending by more than 20 managers and executives using company credit cards, including €95,000 being spent by chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly on flights, hotels and other expenditure.

The spend came in at more than €500,000.

The board claimed “a malicious leak of confidential company information that appears designed to create an incorrect and damaging perception of inappropriate spend by the company”, and that it “takes this matter extremely seriously”.

Following a meeting last week, the board said it noted that no malpractice was identified.

All expenditure was on company business and in line with the masterplan strategy of working with our stakeholders, including local communities, to deliver the growth the company needs over the next 10 years as it invests €1bn in capital development to meet Ireland’s import and export needs by 2040.

It said it has decided to initiate an external review of credit card expenditure and hospitality to confirm and verify that all spend was both appropriate and properly authorised.

“This review will be undertaken by Mazars as a matter of urgency and is expected to be completed over the coming weeks. The board has undertaken to report back to the minister at the earliest opportunity.

“We will carefully consider, and act upon, any conclusions and recommendations from this review.”

The board said the firm “is well-managed, profitable and has a turnover of €90.4m which has grown by 28% in the past 10 years”.

The firm said it would appear before the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

“The company will respond directly to the committee and will be pleased to brief the committee in full on the company’s Brexit preparations, cruise ship plans and its strong governance structures, including the Mazars review,” it said.

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