Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Publication of Company Accounts.


andMr. L'Estrange asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is now in a position to publish the annual accounts of (i) the Kingdom Greyhound Co. Ltd., and (ii) the Shelbourne Park Ltd., as indicated in a recent Dáil query.

I indicated in a reply to questions in the Dáil on the 12 March last that I would consult Bord na gCon again in this matter. I have since done so and have been informed that the board do not propose to depart from their present practice of not publishing accounts of their subsidiary companies.

Will the Minister of State tell the House why Bord na gCon do not publish the accounts? Surely the Minister of State must know they are dealing with the taxpayers' money? Have they anything to hide or is there any reason they cannot publish the accounts, the same as other semi-State bodies?

Under the 1958 Act the board are not required to publish the accounts of subsidiary companies. Secondly, I should like to inform the Deputy that there is no question of taxpayers' money being used or abused in any way by Bord na gCon because they are self-supporting. They do not go to the revenue authorities or anybody else for the money.

Is the Minister aware that Deputy Allen, Minister of State, gave an assurance to the House when this question was raised in March that he would report back to us? Is the Minister now telling us that Bord na gCon have told the Minister to hump off?

I am not saying Bord na gCon told the Minister to hump off. In the course of supplementaries, Deputy Allen indicated that discussions were being held with the board and that he would reply to a further question if it was put down. Deputies L'Estrange and Begley have that question today.

If there is nothing to hide surely the information would have been given to us. If Bord na gCon are self-supporting why do they use cars at by-elections—officials of Bord na gCon?

It does not arise on the question.

It certainly does because it is the people's money which is involved. If there is nothing to hide why are we not being given the information?

I refute the allegation that Bord na gCon cars are being abused.

They have been and they are being abused.

I am satisfied that the accounts presented by the board are adequate. They are audited by a reputable firm of accountants and they are subject to scrutiny.

Of course you could be in Cork buying greyhounds and using the car in the by-election at the same time.

Can the Minister tell us if he is aware that the Shelbourne Park track authorities publish their accounts? Why is this practice not general? What is the Minister hiding and why is he backing Bord na gCon with State funds?

I am satisfied the board's accounts are adequate. If I thought for a moment that they were not, I would ask them to publish the accounts of the subsidiary companies about which the Deputies have been complaining. The practice is satisfactory and I am certain there is nothing the board are afraid of.

Why did they not give the Minister the information, or did he look for it? The Minister is only codding us.

If a person has not got anything to hide he will give the information. Would the board not be delighted to prove Deputy Begley and myself wrong if they could?

We want to know where the money is going.

(Cavan-Monaghan): Would it not be more satisfactory if the accounts of each track operated by the board—it appears they are operated under a separate company—were published so that people interested could see whether they were paying their way or not? Would that not be more satisfactory than bundling the whole lot together?

Perhaps that is true, but in a situation like this where there are so many tracks——

Where there is so much to hide.

Some tracks will make profits and others will not. If individual reports were published it might well mean that a track would have to close down with possible loss of employment.

(Cavan-Monaghan): It might make them pull their socks up.

Question No. 6 withdrawn.