25Aug Garda fraud investigation into two company directors dropped

A second Garda investigation into allegations of fraud against two directors
of a Castlebar FÁS-funded company has been dropped.

Castlebar Care for the Aged Social Economy Ltd, a company that was featured
in a controversial RTÉ Prime Time documentary in February 2009, has been
subjected to a comprehensive investigation by the Garda Fraud Squad but
there is to be no prosecution in the matter, the Mayo Advertiser has
learned.

Mr Eddie Hoban, a former director of the company, received correspondence
from Superintendent Colm Fox that following directions from the Director of
Public Prosecutions there is to be no prosecution against any parties in the
matter. The letter, which was viewed by the Mayo Advertiser, was dated July
6 2012.

A letter was also sent to Mr Gabriel Curran, brother of the late Canon Paddy
Curran PP, the second company director, stating that following an
investigation there was no evidence to substantiate any charge against his
brother. This letter was dated April 6 2009. It read: ³I wish to inform you
that following allegations made by Mr PJ Nally a full and comprehensive
investigation was conducted to try and establish any wrongdoing by any
person.

³The full investigation file was submitted to the office of the Director of
Public Prosecutions on the 29th of April 2007. On the 13th of July 2007
directions were received to the effect that there was no evidence to
substantiate any charge against your brother.²

To date nine audits have been carried out, investigating 50 different
allegations into the workings of Castlebar Care for the Aged Social Economy
Ltd in Castlebar, arising from allegations made by Mr PJ Nally, chairman of
Castlebar Voluntary Social Services. One was conducted by FÁS, one by the
Archbishop of Tuam, one by Pobal, one by the Department of Gaeltacht and
Community Affairs, one by Prime Time, and two by An Garda Siochána. None of
the investigations could find any wrongdoing. Two audits were also conducted
by the company¹s own accountant. Before the controversial Prime Time
programme was aired, one of the Garda investigations had already taken
place. Despite this, Mr Nally, a retired garda, called for an outside
investigation, independent of FÁS, on the programme. The fact that one had
already been conducted was not disclosed on the documentary.

The issue has received much media attention and Mr Hoban was successful in
settling a libel case against one newspaper and received a subsequent front
page clarification and apology.

This latest Garda investigation brings to a close this long running saga for
the former directors of Castlebar Care for the Aged Social Economy Ltd, a
company which was set up in 2001. It was initially funded by FÁS but in 2006
Pobal took over the funding of SE schemes such as this one.Speaking to the
Mayo Advertiser Mr Hoban said he was most upset by the allegation made by Mr
Nally in a letter to the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in March
2009 that ³a lot of monies went towards the purchase of consumables for the
Presbytery². Mr Hoban said this was never the case.

³I am now drawing a line under it and any further allegations that will be
made will be treated as vexatious and ignored,² Mr Hoban added. However he
is asking the directors of Castlebar Voluntary Social Services, the company
to which Mr Nally is chairman, and whose names all appeared on official
letters which contained the allegations, to publish an unequivocal apology
to himself, to the family of the late Canon Curran, and also to Martin Lyons
and TJ Kirrane, both of whom were managers of schemes which were
investigated.

And while there will be no more fraud investigations against this company,
Mr Hoban told the Mayo Advertiser: ³When your reputation is damaged, that
stain is never fully removed. I have to live with that.² But he is satisfied
that: ³On the way to the grave no daughter of mine will be ashamed to walk
behind my coffin.²

3 Responses

  1. Castlebar Parishioner

    Just one more example of where Primetime got it seriously wrong when it came to allegations made concerning a priest.
    As a Castlebar parishioner, we were all coloured in our views by this programme.
    Before it was aired it was advertised as having ‘investigated all the facts’. We couldn’t wait to see it believing this would be the programme that would let the ordinary people, not involved on either side, know what was really going on. (This was at a time when the parish was full of gossip and talk, might I add.)
    Now we know they may have had the facts but, for whatever reason, they decided to edit what they would make public and leave out one important fact – mainly that ‘Garda investigations had already being conducted and no wrong doing had been found’.
    What an injustice to a community and to a parish not to mention to the people directly involved.
    For years this story has put good people under suspicion in our parish and no doubt our late Parish Priest went to his grave wondering if his name would ever be cleared. (Clearly he had no top brass legal team like Kevin Reynolds to clear his name.)
    As parishioners many of us were lead to believe that parish, clergy and some parishioners had behaved less than admirable with community funds and a sneaking suspicion consumed our place.
    What a disservice to our community from our national broadcaster.
    I am glad for Mr Hoban that at least, in his own words, no ‘daughter of mine will be ashamed to walk
    behind my coffin’. What a price a family whose father has given a life time of service to the church must live with.
    And for the family of our late parish priest, one can only hope it gives them comfort knowing this statement has been made so public now.
    Truly, it was well time RTE drew the curtain down on this programme.

  2. Eric Conway

    Great news. But I still would’nt trust RTE News/Current Affairs for one second. They have been exposed as an agenda driven entity. In particular an anti-Catholic agenda ; and they are still very much at it. I rarely if ever listen to RTE, as it’s bad for one’s blood pressure. But what really galls me is having to subsidise these individuals to insult my intelligence & my religion. I thought the Soviet Empire had collapsed. It appears merely to have moved to D4.

  3. Rory Connor

    To date nine audits have been carried out, investigating 50 different allegations into the workings of Castlebar Care for the Aged Social Economy Ltd in Castlebar, arising from allegations made by Mr PJ Nally, chairman of Castlebar Voluntary Social Services. One was conducted by FÁS, one by the Archbishop of Tuam, one by Pobal, one by the Department of Gaeltacht and Community Affairs, one by Prime Time, and two by An Garda Siochána. None of the investigations could find any wrongdoing.
    <>
    And if the Catholic Church was not involved, would there have been NINE investigations – including two by the Gardai?