Gardai are believed to have initiated an investigation into the reported theft of thousands of euro from a fund set up to manage the day-to-day spending of clients of the Cregg House facility for people with intellectual disability. There are currently approximately 200 special needs children and adults dependent on the service provided at the Ballincar premises.
According to an exclusive story in the Sligo Weekender newspaper, it is understood that sums ranging from €10,000 to €30,000 could be involved. Sligo gardai whilst confirming that an investigation had commenced declined to comment any further on the matter.
The activities of one staff member who has allegedly been taking money from the fund over a prolonged period has been the focus of the probe. The fund, which is the client's money is used to buy required items and pay for outings.
The investigation has been taking place over a number of recent months with several staff being interviewed by gardai.
A media statement by Cregg House management said they were made aware of “alleged incidents of misappropriation of service user funds,” and immediately conducted an initial screening which is still ongoing. “It is our policy that any alleged criminal activity is reported to the Garda Siochana. The incident was reported and is subject to their investigation process”. They also said that no staff member was on suspension in relation to the matter.
It is understood that a number of families, whose family member had funds removed from the account have had in the region of €10,000 repaid to them.
Cregg House, now known as Wisdom Services, began over fifty years ago when the Daughters of Wisdom came to Sligo at the invitation of the Irish Government's, Department of Health.
The investigation continues.