Senior gardaí told the Public Accounts Committee that the controversial redistribution and investment of funds at the Garda College was done with the aim of developing facilities at the Templemore training campus.
A number of Garda managers said the general financial structures at the college appeared to have had the backing of the Department of Justice — a contention not disputed by department officials at the committee.
In the afternoon session, the committee also heard:
Four senior gardaí, including Deputy Commissioner Ó Cualain, Assistant Commissioner Anne-Marie McMahon, Chief Supt Margaret Nugent and Supt Pat McCabe asserted that the funding model of Templemore meant having to use monies coming mainly into the restaurant account for developing sport, educational and recreational facilities.
Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said the monies were not used for the purpose for which they were voted for by the Dáil and Independent TD Catherine Connolly said there was a “co-mingling” of public and private funds, which were used to invest and purchase shares in companies.
The gardaí said the department of justice was aware of the structures and even gave advice on investing surplus funds — which was not disputed by the department.
Department official Anne Barry said that despite an “exhaustive trawl” they had not been able to identify relevant records.
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