Belfast Telegraph

Independent bank bonus probe urged

Middle-ranking gardai have demanded an independent examination into bonuses paid at Bank of Ireland.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) said recent revelations that the lender gave incomplete details about payments to staff over the past two years were "disturbing".

A report earlier this year by the Department of Finance found the taxpayer bailed-out bank did not disclose all bonuses to a government-ordered investigation.

Inspector Aidan O'Donnell, the Agsi president, pointed out two separate payments totalling nearly one million euro were among those apparently overlooked.

"We believe this matter should be referred to an independent regulatory authority for re-examination and if there is evidence of any irregularity the matter should be re-investigated and the findings referred to the appropriate authority," he said.

Inspector O'Donnell said as public servants, paying more than their fair share in taxes, gardai had a right to express themselves on what the Government was doing with their money.

Bonuses of 66 million euro were being paid to Bank of Ireland employees between September 2008 and December 2010 at a time when garda officers were subjected to destructive attacks on their wages, he said.

With further revelations of another 40 million euro in bonus payments paid out at Allied Irish Bank, Inspector O'Donnell said the "greedy bonuses" could have gone a long way towards improving policing.

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