PAC report to criticise Garda boss over college

A detailed Dáil report into the garda college financial scandal is set to be published next Tuesday — and will severely criticise garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan over her handling of the affair.

The publication timeline was officially confirmed last night after the Dáil’s public accounts committee held its third private meeting this week to finalise the potentially explosive document on the garda crisis.

The report is based on months of PAC meetings with Ms O’Sullivan, garda whistleblower John Barrett, civilian head of internal audit Niall Kelly, and a series of officers directly linked to the garda college.

And while the final report is being kept under tight control — with PAC members understood to have been told to hand over any hard copies that were provided at the start of private meetings once they concluded to prevent leaks — a number of conclusions are known to have been made.

The report will be highly critical of Ms O’Sullivan’s failure to inform State financial watchdog the Comptroller and Auditor General of the seriousness of the concerns, and to have needlessly delayed in providing the C&AG with information.

The report will also question the official version of when Ms O’Sullivan was first informed of what was taking place.

In addition, the report is expected to make a series of recommendations over the handling of garda college accounts and the need for greater transparency on how public money is spent.

The signing off on the final version of the PAC report comes as the Central Bank is due to send a letter to the committee confirming if it will launch an investigation into the St Raphael’s garda credit union and a private AIB bank account in Cabra, Dublin City.

It also comes as garda civilian head of internal audit Niall Kelly said he has opened a new audit into where garda college money was invested.

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