Gardaí are currently investigating “suspected fraudulent financial activity at an education institution in Dublin”, an Garda Síochana confirmed to Trinity News this evening.
The Examiner reported that the matter was “made clear” at Trinity Board meeting on March 23, as it would be reflected in Trinity’s annual financial report.
Machinery within College, including computers, have been seized as part of the investigation.
In a statement, a College spokesperson said: “Last year, the university was made aware of alleged inappropriate payments relating to one of its activities.”
“Notifications were made to the relevant internal and external authorities and a process to manage the ongoing investigation and to implement responses to the issues identified was put in place,” the statement continued.
“The university has since taken actions to strengthen the control environment relating to this particular activity. The total amount identified to date is not considered to have a material effect on the university’s finances.”
The statement concluded: “As the matter is being investigated by the gardaí, we are not in a position to say anything more at this stage.”
Senior staff told the Examiner that, in their view, what occurred amounted to a “fraud of college funds”. Senior sources also told the Examiner of their concern and alarm, and the potential “reputational damage” this could do to College.
While the Board minutes from March 23 did not reflect discussion on issue, senior members told the Examiner that the matter was raised throughout the meeting.
This is the second time in five years Trinity has had to deal with a suspected fraud. In 2017, Trinity lost nearly €1 million to a fraudulent scam directed at the Trinity Foundation.