Report on alleged irregular milk movements due

The report from the investigation by the Department of Agriculture into possible milk quota irregularities involving a large Glanbia milk supplier and Clongowes Wood school is due as early as next week, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney.

Addressing the issue in the Dail this morning the Minister said: “We are very close to finalising the investigation. The case is proving to be complex. Last night I got the first report back from officials in the Department, having pulled together all of the different elements of the investigation which involved a lot of interviews and consideration.

“We also had to get legal advice from within the Department and that has taken time. We are close to drawing conclusions.

“We are taking the issue very seriously, which is why we have taken our time and undertaken a very thorough investigation. It is true that a number of parties are involved – a school, a large food processing company and a large farmer who was managing farming operations on behalf of the school.”

“It has taken a while to get our head around the issues because of the complexity involved. We will have a full outcome to the case in the next week or fortnight. We will put matters right in terms of what happened.”

Questioned as to whether there a possibility of the fraud squad becoming involved in the investigation the minister stated: “That is unlikely. I will take legal advice on the matter from the Department and I will follow it to the letter. We have a pretty good understanding of what happened. There are consequences and we will enforce them but I am not in a position to give full details at this stage.”

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