Former credit union worker pleads guilty to years-long €300k theft

By Liam Heylin

A former officer at Gurranabraher Credit Union yesterday confessed to charges related to the theft of over €300,000 from her employer over a period of several years.

Leona Daly

Leona Daly, aged 36, of 4 Meadow Avenue, The Meadows, Knocknaheeny, Cork, appeared at Cork District Court yesterday on a total of 167 charges.

Detective Garda Maura O’Riordan of the Garda economic crime investigation unit formally arrested and charged Daly on July 23 outside Bridewell Garda Station.

Inspector Ronan Kennelly said the DPP had directed trial by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Shane Collins-Daly, solicitor, said Ms Daly was pleading guilty to the charges and was willing to sign a plea of guilty to each charge.

Judge Olann Kelleher said that from an administrative point of view, that would take some time as the accused would have to sign her name to each of the 167 charges. The matter was let stand as she signed in court to each of the charges.

Some 109 of the charges related to theft and 58 were for false accounting. They related to a period from 2011 to 2016 and the amounts of money on the charges varied from €500 to €11,000.

The charges were of theft contrary to section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001, and false accounting contrary to section 10.

The first charge, for instance, states that on March 2, 2016, at the Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill office, she stole €1,700 from a credit union account which was the property of Gurranabraher Credit Union.

The other type of charge against Ms Daly states, for instance, that, on November 12, 2014, at the same location she did dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for herself or another, in furnishing information for Gurrabraher Credit Union account (number) produce or make use of said account by withdrawing the sum of €4,000 which to her knowledge was, or could have been, misleading, false, or deceptive.

Judge Olann Kelleher sent the case forward for the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court commencing on October 22.

Mr Collins-Daly was appointed to represent the accused on free legal aid.

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