Funds missing from community project

Article Posted: Thursday 27th November, 2008

From today's Irish Times:

A DUBLIN-BASED community development project is to close after financial irregularities were discovered in its accounts.

Gardaí have launched a criminal investigation after a sum of between €20,000 and €30,000 was found to be missing from the accounts of Inchicore Community Development Project (CDP), The Irish Timesunderstands.

The project, which provides services and support to local residents' and community groups, will close next week, it told supporters in an email yesterday.

The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, which funds CDP schemes nationally, said that Inchicore CDP had been advised by its legal and auditing advisors to cease trading immediately because of "financial irregularities".

"To continue to trade would be considered 'reckless trading' and would leave the board personally open to fines and other penalties under company law," a spokeswoman said.

The department had liaised closely in the matter with the board, which was still under investigation, she added.

In its statement, Inchicore CDP said it was about to close because of "funding difficulties" after the department advised it would not be in a position to renew its contract with the project next year.

"In effect, this means that they will not be able to provide funding for staffing and other overheads costs next year".

The project would close on December 5th. The management committee and staff of the project were shocked and upset upon hearing the announcement, the statement continued, and very concerned about the future of the various groups that it supported.

Inchicore CDP has received more than €370,000 in funding from the department since 2004, and €66,000 from other sources.

A representative of the project last night declined to comment, citing legal reasons.

© 2008 The Irish Times