Hist Auditor in €2,000 Loan Controversy

Rónán Burtenshaw
Auditor of the College Historical Society (Hist), John Engle, received a €2,000 loan over the summer which was “in breach of internal society rules”, it has emerged today. The loan, sanctioned by Hist Treasurer, Emma Tobin, has been described as “contrary to the proper protocol of the society” by a committee statement issued to Trinity News.

According to the release the loan was sanctioned so that Mr. Engle, a US citizen, could ensure “a minimum deposit in his personal bank account to satisfy immigration criteria”, and “to cover rent incurred due to the Auditor’s stay in Ireland over the summer”. As of yesterday, when the balance of €500 was settled, the loan has been repaid in full.

TN understands that the loan was discovered by an officer when opening the society’s mail, and the Hist acknowledge that the Auditor “failed to notify” or seek “formal approval” from the committee about its details. The officers of the society were notified about the details last week, while the remaining members of the committee were made only yesterday.

A meeting was held to discuss the incident last night and, according to a source present, Mr. Engle stated that he believed that the issuing of loans to officers was “common practice”. Today’s release directly contradicts this, saying that the committee “would like to stress that such actions are not accepted practice in the society”.

The statement from the Hist acknowledges that “these acts [which led to the loan] were contrary to its expected standards of conduct” and “could not be ignored”. Despite expressing “regret” about the incident it said that “the proper recourse had been taken and an apology issued to, and accepted by, committee.”

We await response from the Central Societies Committee to this story.