TheStory has obtained a copy of the internal audit which triggered the recent C&AG report into Fás and we’re digging through the details. We believe we have uncovered a mass of new information, the details of which we will publish early next week.
For now, we’re simply going to put the document into the public domain. It is heavily redacted.
However, The Irish Times has seen an unredacted version and reported some of its contents. The Sunday Times has also covered the story in some depth, including this piece, probably the most comprehensive one on the subject.
The document also contains two names which, it appears, were accidentally unredacted. As we are most unlike other media, who have teams of lawyers to check each item published for legal issues, we have added redactions ourselves in those two areas. This is simply us being highly cautious. But we assure you, the unredecated names will be published once we get advice on the matter. Note: Our redactions are on page 7 and page 31.
The audit was the result by an anonymous letter sent to Mary Harney in 2005, when she was Enterprise Minister. The letter made seven allegations specifically against Greg Craig, who was the director of corporate affairs in Fás at the time. It is important to note that the audit team found “no evidence” to support six of the seven allegations and that the one other was only partially true. Mr Craig is now director of health and safety in Fás following a period of paid suspension.
While our digging has uncovered, we believe, some odd connections between some companies named in the report and various other people of interest, we’re at a loss in some areas.
We’d appreciate help uncovering information about a number of companies and one individual. In particular we’d like to answer the “how did…” type questions raised about them in the audit.
The companies are:
Ultimate Communications, directed by Niall Gallen and Audrey Browne. We’d like to know if this company had any connection with Greg Craig (who appears to have known many of the contractors personally or have dealt with them professionally for a long period) or political parties. The company has an address in Kiltallaght House, Grangebellew, Co. Louth. They were contracted to build the Fás website 10 days after they incorporated and received €3.55m worth of work from Fás in their first year operating.
Helm O’Connor O’Sullivan, directed by Donald Helme and Dale Parry with an address in Serpentine Avenue, Ballsbridge. An advertising agency.
Posterplan Ltd (now called Kinetic Advertising), directed by Brian Townshend, Carol Ann Hogan and Simon Rupert Durham with an address at 31 Ballsbridge Terrace. Shareholders include POA Holdings Limited. Posterplan are a well-known company who sell advertising space on billboards, bus shelters and the likes…
Display Contracts Ltd, directed by James O’Brien and James O’Brien Junior with an address in Beau Lane House, Mercer Street, Dublin 2. Shareholders include Adrienne O’Brien, James O’Brien, James E O’Brien, Margaret O’Brien, Nofleen O’Brien, Paula O’Brien and Tony O’Brien.
“Design House“, the only information we could uncover about this company is in the report, it says it is directed by a Robert Saunders.
We’d also like to know the name of a “daughter of a well-known property developer and friend of Greg Craig“. That’s how she is described in the report. We have an idea as to their names but would like confirmation, or an additional lead.
Of course all of these companies and individuals were surely operating entirely lawfully in all of their dealings, including those with Fás, but we’d like to know a little more about them, how their structured, and their contact, if any, with Fás and in particularly, Greg Craig.
Tips can be sent to tips [at] thestory.ie or we can be contacted individually via coughlanmp [at] gmail.com or gavinsblog [at] gmail.com
More early next week…