Members of the Public Accounts Committee have expressed concerns about the leaking of documents to the media.

The issue was raised following media reports of allegations that the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary had offshore bank accounts.

Sinn Féin's David Cullinane said it appears that correspondence to the committee was leaked.

He said the PAC has to carry out an examination of documents and "we can't have a national media outlet and have them deciding what the key aspects of the documents are".

Mr Cullinane questioned how the committee can proceed when there is a parallel process taking place in the media.

Labour's Alan Kelly also expressed concerns while committee chair Seán Fleming said leaks give rise to two concerns.

Firstly, the national media can put a particular "slant" on the story.

Secondly, he said, "someday a witness will not come in as they feel they have already been adjudicated on in the morning papers."

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that "irrespective of what we say ... there are those who will leak anyhow".

She said it "is very frustrating and annoying. The real danger is that somebody we wish to appear might legitimately take the view that they are not going to get a fair crack at things and won't be treated fairly."

Independent TD Catherine Connolly said: "We should have as few private meetings as possible so everything is discussion in public and there are no leaks."

The committee chairman said he would get the secretariat to look into a way of preventing the leaks.