Co Manager announces housing probe

County Hall  Dundalk Home to Louth County Council
Louth County Council have launched a full investigation following receipt of an independent report by Deloitte into the purchases of houses by the county council.

Louth County Council have launched a full investigation following receipt of an independent report by Deloitte into the purchases of houses by the county council.

Deloitte were asked to undertake the report following revelations in this newspaper that two houses bought by the council were purchased from members of staff in the housing section.

It has been reported today that two members of staff at the the County Council had been suspended pending the investigation. However neither the Co Council or the Department of Environment would confirm this to www.dundalkdemocrat.ie.

That report was furnished to the new Louth County Manager Philomena Poole in the past week.

Speaking at the yesterday’s meeting of the Louth County Council, Ms Poole said:

“Members will be aware there

has been some media coverage in relation to the Council’s Social Housing Investment Programme for 2010.

“You will also be aware that I directed a review to be conducted by the Council’s Internal Auditors Deloitte. That report was received by me last week and I have now instigated a full investigation into matters surrounding the purchase of the two particular properties involved.

“All of the appropriate steps and procedures have been put in place to facilitate this investigation.

“This will be a de novo investigation – therefore the investigation team will start from scratch.

“The Deloitte report will not be made available to the Investigation team, to the individuals involved or indeed to any third party and I have emphatic legal advice to that effect.

“This investigation will be carried out in a timely manner however until it is fully concluded the Council will not engage or comment on any matter which in any way surrounds it in order to ensure that the outcome is not prejudiced for the individuals involved or for the organisation.

Commenting on the launch of the investigation yesterday, Cllr Tomas Sharkey said: “This investigation must be thorough. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

“I hope that everybody who has information around this matter gets an opportunity to assist in the investigation.”

The matter was raised in the Dáil last week by Louth TD Gerry Adams.