March 28, 2024
University of Limerick President’s PAC no-show doesn’t mean questions will go away – Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin TD and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Brian Stanley, has expressed his perplexion after the President of the University of Limerick, Professor Kerstin Mey, sent notice that she would not be able to attend PAC on April 11th as scheduled.

In a one-line correspondence, Professor Mey said that she could not attend due to being incapacitated. No further explanation or reasoning was offered.

The University of Limerick President was due to appear before PAC amid the ongoing furore where her institution overpaid €5.2 million for 20 homes in Rhebogue, Limerick.

This botched property deal follows on from massive overspending five years ago by the same University on a former Dunnes Stores site in Limerick for a new city-centre campus, where the final costs of bringing the site into full use are not yet known.

Teachta Stanley said:

“I cannot speculate the exact reason that Professor Mey will not appear in front of the committee as scheduled, because at this point, she has provided no detail on her reasons. Through the committee, I have requested full transparency and clarity on that matter.

“It has been widely publicised that certain past members of the RTÉ board resigned and refused to come before the Public Accounts Committee to answer questions on the various scandals and misuse of public monies there.

“We also had failures to appear from accountable people in Inland Fisheries Ireland, while the chief financial officer of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) went on ‘voluntary leave without prejudice’ just before their scheduled appearance.

“The Public Accounts Committee is responsible for examining, and reporting to Dáil Éireann, on the annual accounts of government departments and of other public bodies, that receive public monies.

“It is simply not acceptable that accountable people do not attend without giving a plausible reason. I would prefer not to have to use the committee’s power to compel people to appear unless it is absolutely necessary. If someone has a genuine reason not to appear, I would like to hear it and that reason can be accepted or not based on its bona fides.

“There are questions on the use of public money outstanding for Prof. Mey and the University of Limerick. This non-appearance does not mean that the questions will go away. There has to be accountability for the use of public money and as Cathaoirleach I will do my utmost to ensure that those accountable, are held accountable and that all issues are resolved.”

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