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Expenses claim by three councillors for SIPO

DCC WEB

BY C.J.MGINLEY

ALLEGATIONS of irregularities relating to the expenses of three county councillors in Donegal have been referred to the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).

Donegal County Council confirmed on Wednesday, the files relating to Councillors David Alcorn, Dessie Larkin and Padraig O’Dochartaigh were referred to SIPO on Friday.

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The matters related to certain expense claims made for travelling and subsistence by the Councillors concerned in respect of attendances at conferences/other events in the years 2006 to 2009.

After detailed consideration of the matter, the Mayor (at the time) and County Manager jointly concluded that the matters should be referred to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

In a statement released on Wednesday the council confirmed that in January, the Ethics Registrar of the Council, in accordance with his duties under section 174 (7) of the Local Government Act, 2001, brought to the Mayor and County Manager’s attention possible contraventions of Part 15 of the said Act by Councillors David Alcorn, Padraig O’Dochartaigh, and Dessie Larkin.

“The matters related to certain expense claims made for travelling and subsistence by the Councillors concerned in respect of attendances at conferences/other events in the years 2006 to 2009.  After detailed consideration of the matter, the Mayor (at the time) and County Manager jointly concluded that the matters should be referred to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

“This position was confirmed in writing to all relevant parties on Friday 21st June, 2013.  It would be inappropriate now to comment further, pending the outcome of the Commission’s deliberations on the matter,” the statement concluded.

A SIPO investigation is already underway against former county councillor Brian O’Domnhnaill. Last week allegations were also made that ten county councillors claimed for conferences they did not fully attend.

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