Bus Ã‰ireann Statement 20/04/2014
The reports in the Mail on Sunday regarding allegations of corruption were previously raised by Student Transport Scheme (STS) Director Tim Doyle as far back as December 2012. The STS, which represents a group of American bus operators and others, took a High Court challenge to Bus Éireann’s right to run schools transport on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. This case was lost on all counts in 2012.
The accusations of corruption were investigated thoroughly by Bus Éireann over a number of months since September 2013 but the company could find no evidence to support the allegations. Now however, new affidavits filed by solicitor Brian Lynch & Associates have been sent to Bus Éireann through the Mail on Sunday on behalf of a very small number of contractors, some of whom have lost their contracts as a result of a competitive tendering process.
Brian Lynch has a 49.5% shareholding in Student Transport Scheme. He, along with Tim Doyle has chosen to appeal the 2012 decision to the Supreme Court, which is their right.
Since last week’s report in the Mail on Sunday, the father and family of the contractor who alleged corruption, wrote a letter to advise us at Bus Éireann that they do not support his actions nor do they believe the allegations of the contractor, who secretly recorded his interview with the Bus Éireann investigation team. To help bring this matter to a conclusion, we have now brought affidavits received to the attention of An Garda Síochana as for the first time, they allege cases of direct bribery.
Bus Éireann, as part of CIE has nearly 50 years of tradition in Schools transport and we are very proud of the success of the scheme, which transports 114,000 children to their schools safely every day on 6,000 schools transport services. In particular, we are very proud of the staff who deliver this critical social function on behalf of the State and expect nothing but the highest standards of ethics, professionalism and care from all staff in the discharge of their duties at all times.
These allegations together with a wealth of Parliamentary Questions and FOI Requests have been orchestrated in a coordinated and determined campaign. The allegations have not been presented in good faith and are designed to damage Bus Éireann’s reputation through a media trial rather than through the due process of the legal system.
We will issue a comprehensive report of our investigation findings to the Ministers’ of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Education and Skills over the next two weeks for further consideration. In the meantime, we will continue to meet all of our obligations and remain willing to co-operate with any investigation into these allegations, which we have brought forward to An Garda Síochana.
Sunday, 20th April, 2014