AN CHÉAD THUARAGABHÁIL INTERIM Ó CHOISTE NA gCUNTAISÍ PUIBLÍ.
FIRST INTERIM REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS.
1. The Committee has made progress in the matters referred to it, but is not yet in a position to present a final and comprehensive Report. The Committee, however, desires to make the following interim Report on matters arising out of its examination of the Tailteann Games Appropriation Account for the Year 1922-23, for the reason that an Estimate for the current year in respect of Aonach Tailteann was recently passed in Committee on Finance in the Dáil. The Resolution supplying the Grant is about to be reported, and the Committee deems it to be its duty to present this interim Report before the final disposal of the Estimate.
2. The Committee in the first place, directs the attention of the Dáil to the description of the Estimate, as originally passed in 1922, viz., “Estimate of the amount required in the Year ending 31st March, 1923, as a Grant in Aid for the improvement of Croke Park in connection with the Tailteann Games.”
3. The Committee wishes to point out the indefiniteness of the Grant thereby made, and that the improvements effected in Croke Park become wholly the property of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Furthermore, the examination made into the Account by the Committee does not show that the Association assumes any liability in respect of future years in which Aonach Tailteann will be held. Having regard to the permanence of the improvements thus made out of public funds, the Committee feels that the Dáil should be made aware that the Gaelic Athletic Association assumes no responsibilities beyond affording the use of the Park for the current year’s Games.
4. A further matter arose out of the investigation of this Account by Committee. The Comptroller and Auditor-General, in the course of his examination, laid before the Committee an extract from the Press dated 18th April, 1923, in which the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the General Council of the Tailteann Games was alleged to state that “the Account of the Council were duly audited by the Comptroller and Accountant-General and found satisfactory in every way.” No such audit was in fact made by the Comptroller and Auditor-General; and correspondence which passed between him and the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Games was produced to the Committee of Public Accounts. It was shown therein that the Chairman of the Finance Committee completely agreed that the Comptroller and Auditor-General had no responsibility for passing the Accounts in question. Having regard to these facts, a statement made by Deputy J. J Walsh during the recent discussion in the Dáil on the Estimate for Aonach Tailteann for the current year is one on which the Committee feels obliged to comment. It was that “our Accounts have been duly audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and that point should be understood,” the Accounts referred to being those of the General Council of the Tailteann Games. The facts brought out in evidence before the Committee enables it to say that the Comptroller and Auditor-General has neither audited the Account in question nor certified them in any way.
TOMÁS MAC EOIN,
Cathaoirleach an Choiste.
12adh Meitheamh, 1924.