The Irish Association of Suicidology has asked gardaí to investigate alleged financial irregularity at the charity.

The association, which promotes positive suicide prevention policies, said it has also begun an internal investigation and that a member of staff has been suspended.

It is believed that at least €28,000 may have gone missing. That figure could increase as the garda inquiry continues.

In a statement issued last night following a board meeting, the association said an internal investigation had begun into a suspected financial irregularity by one individual over a short period of time.

It said that the matter had been reported to gardaí on the advice of its insurers and a legal adviser.

The association was founded in 1996 and its current president is Fine Gael TD Dan Neville.