Cork County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy reassures delegates over row with audit and risk sub committee

Cork County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy reassures delegates over row with audit and risk sub committee
Tracey Kennedy, Chairperson Cork County Board has assured delegates that the audit and risk sub-committee is committed to constructively assisting the board with regard to its financial issues.Picture: Jim Coughlan

CORK County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy has assured delegates that the audit and risk sub-committee is committed to constructively assisting the board with regard to its financial issues.

At tonight’s board meeting in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the potential for rancour had been anticipated after reports that the sub-committee had concerns so great that there would be resignations.

However, Kennedy provided an account of positive dialogue between the executive of the board and the audit and risk committee (consisting of chair Gerard Lyons, Ciarán Murphy, Róisín O’Sullivan and Michael Harte) since the beginning of the month.

“We had a very constructive meeting with them on January 6,” she said, “it wasn’t possible to hold it earlier due to Christmas, and it was really useful.

“There are some excellent people on the committee, there was a very good discussion around concerns, mainly relating to the reporting of stadium accounts and finances.

“I can’t over-stress the value of their advice and input, as an executive we made it clear that we hoped they would continue – we put them there to question us. They agreed to reflect on the situation and come back to us and we agreed to put together a timeline for reporting the finances.

“On February 3, there is an audit planning meeting with EY, on February 10 there is a stadium board meeting and the accounts for 2019 will be presented. The audit is scheduled to be completed by February 21 and it’s expected that the accounts will be signed of and presented to the board by mid-to-late March. The consolidated accounts will then be presented.

“I want to reiterate, there’s no point anyone fooling themselves that these accounts will paint a pretty picture as the stadium had a bad year in 2019, it was closed for a large part of it. Certainly, there will be losses but we’ll have definite figures.

“We conveyed that to the audit and risk committee, who came back to us and thanked us for meeting them, they emphasised that their wish is to help the board in dealing with complex issues. They would prefer a shorter timeline but they do accept that this is the best that can be achieved for 2019. They hope, going forward, that consolidated accounts will be available at year-end with the board’s accounts. They assured us that they are anxious to help and support us.”

Diarmuid Daly of Fermoy asked if it was possible to give a clear idea about the current position, how much is owed, to whom and by whom. Kennedy said there was nothing she would like more than to give that information but there was no way she could put out a figure unless she was sure about it. “As soon as we have it, we will give it,” she said. “I’m hopeful there will be a resolution in the next four-to-six months but I can’t be certain.”

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