The controversy over the decision by the Department of Agriculture that a prosecution is not warranted in relation to possible milk quota irregularities involving a large Glanbia milk supplier and Clongowes Wood school hit the floor of the Dail today.
In response to a question tabled by Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris the Minister for Agriculture said he was concerned about the details of the case and as soon has he heard about it, he initiated an investigation straight away.
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 a large Glanbia Milk supplier and Clongowes Wood College.
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.