University of Limerick whistleblower invited to meet with Public Accounts Committee

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Leona O'Callaghan, who was one of the first to raise concerns over issues at UL Picture: Adrian Butler

Leona O'Callaghan, who was one of the first to raise concerns over issues at UL Picture: Adrian Butler

THE STATE spending watchdog has agreed to meet one of the first whistleblowers at the University of Limerick to discuss matters relating to the university and her part in highlighting problems there.

Following a meeting of the Dail Public Accounts Committee, PAC has agreed to meet with Leona O’Callaghan, one of the first people to come forward with concerns over financial matters at UL

Ms O’Callaghan alleges she was subsequently managed out of her role after she highlighted the improper payment of expenses during her time as an employee in UL’s finance department. 

Social Democrat TD and member of the PAC Catherine Murphy said: “Much of this would not have come to light without the assistance of a whistleblower.”

”Yet again there was a significant consequence for the whistleblower.” 

Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy told PAC members that he is currently conducting a special report into the findings of an internal audit carried out by Deloitte. 

The audit found UL provided inaccurate or incomplete information in relation to €1.2 million in severance payments, breaches in procurement policy and spending on study abroad schemes for staff.  The Deloitte report raises matters of concern, the C&AG told PAC.

“They are matters of concern for me and I am including a full review of their findings in my consideration as to what happened.”

A date for the meeting with Ms O’Callaghan has yet to be confirmed.