Man questioned over alleged corrupt payments at University of Limerick

University of Limerick.

GARDAÍ are questioning a man today (Wednesday) as part of a probe into alleged corrupt practices involving the payment of €450,000 at the University of Limerick (UL).

The arrest of the man, in his 60s, is understood to be part of Garda enquiries into severance payments made to two former UL employees.

The man arrested this morning is being questioned under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act at the NorthWestern Regional Garda Headquarters in Galway.

A Garda spokesman said that detectives from the anti-corruption unit “arrested a male, in his 60s, as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corrupt practices at a public body in Munster.

He added that the investigation is being led by detectives from the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

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Gardaí arrested two men in their 60s last March as part of the same investigation. They were questioned at Henry Street Garda Station and released without charge.

It is understood that Gardaí are preparing files for the Director of Public Prosecutions who will then consider whether or not charges are brought as part of the investigation.

UL declined to comment on the latest arrest although it’s understood that the university assisted in the retrieval of documentation which may prove fruitful to the Garda investigation.

UL President, Professor Kersten Mey, informed the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last year that UL had briefed Gardaí in relation to alleged fraud at the university.

The university has also sought legal advice in relation to the alleged fraud.

In 2021 the Department of Higher Education withheld €1.7 million of €2.5 million capital funding allocation to the university over concerns about its financial governance.