Department won’t prosecute Glanbia milk supplier over ‘irregularities’

The Department of Agriculture has decided that a prosecution is not warranted in relation to possible milk quota irregularities involving a large Glanbia milk supplier and Clongowes Wood school.

In response to a parliamentary question tabled by Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris the Minister for Agriculture said having regard to an opinion from the Chief State Solicitor’s Office, and having considered all of the facts, the recommendation from his Department is that on balance, a prosecution is not warranted in this instance.

He said all superlevies, due have been paid in full and there has been no financial loss to either to the Exchequer, to farmers or to the EU.

The alleged milk movement irregularities came to light following an investigation conducted by the Department of Agriculture into possible milk quota irregularities involving Glanbia board member and Tipperary milk supplier Bill Carroll and Clongowes Wood school.

In January 2014 of this year, the Department received information alleging non-compliances by the supplier and Glanbia with the Regulations governing the milk quota regime.

In summary, the allegation was that a milk producer was having his milk collections credited to another milk supplier. The information received also alleged that this activity was being facilitated by Glanbia.

The Minister said at the time that he regards it as “critically important” that Milk Quota Regulations are upheld in full, and against the background outlined above.

The Minister immediately initiated a full investigation in this instance.

Following the completion of the investigation, the Minister said, corrective action was taken.

The Minister said following a fundamental review of milk recording within the milk processor, he made arrangements to have this corrective action independently verified.

The milk deliveries concerned were reallocated and any superlevy arising as a result, was to be paid in full.

The Minister then referred the file in this case to Chief State Solicitor’s Office for advice on whether any further action is warranted.

On receipt of advice from the Chief State Solicitor the Department decided that no prosecution was warranted.

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