Templemore Garda Training College is at the centre of a storm of controversy this week, as it emerged that a secret €125,000 slush fund was set up for senior officers using taxpayers' money.
According to the Garda Audit, which has not been published, the fund was set up to buy gifts, meals and retirement presents for Officers stationed in the College.
The damning report also makes reference to land at Dromad Farm, which is associated with the College. Rental income from this land was put into the College's restaurant accounts, instead of the OPW, which is now the legal owner of the land.
Local well known and popular establishments such as Fiacri Country House Hotel and Murphy's Pub in Templemore, were some of the locations where some Senior Officers in the College once dined using the fund, according to media reports.
A Garda spokesperson responded to a query by the Tipperary Star, saying the issue is now before the the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG).
“Following a recent Garda internal audit, a number of legacy issues associated with the provision of ancillary services in the Garda College, Templemore, have been identified which are not in compliance with current public standard corporate governance procedures.
“The internal audit report has not yet been finalised. However, as is normal practise, the matter was brought to the attention of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) and a statement in relation to this matter was included in the 2015 Appropriation Account of An Garda Síochána, recently published by the C&AG.
“The internal audit report is at draft stage and has made a number of recommendations to ensure compliance with Public Financial Procedures and these will be incorporated into an action plan to address these issues.”
The audit also raised concerns about dozens of bank accounts associated with the Training College and called for them to be immediately closed and all expenditure to be centralised.
A copy of the report is before the embattled Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan, who was a Superintendent in the Garda College for three years between 2000 and 2003, a period which predates these issues.