Three Department of Social Protection staff accused of welfare fraud

It has emerged that three members of staff at the Department of Social Protection are under investigation after allegations of welfare fraud emerged.

The Public Accounts Committee has heard that an estimated €1.2m was inappropriately paid to a number of individuals.

One member of staff has been fired, and another two are suspended while a Garda investigation is underway.

"In one case, there was a member of staff who was [allegedly] misappropriating who was, basically, as a customer of the Department, was [allegedly] claiming a benefit to which they were no longer entitled," said Niamh O'Donoghue from the Department of Social Protection.

"In the other two cases, it was members of staff who allegedly were misappropriating in terms of making payments, that were not appropriate, to others."

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