16 charged over allegedly staging traffic accidents

Damien O'Driscoll pictured at the district court in Cork charged in connection with a Garda investigation into suspected fraudulent insurance claims. Picture: Provision

Gardaí have charged 16 people with various counts of deception and making false reports in relation to orchestrated traffic accidents.

The crashes, it will be alleged, had been staged for the purpose of claiming compensation on insurance.

Fifteen of the 16 accused are from Co Cork with one other from Co Tipperary.

Some of the accused, it will be further alleged, received compensation payments between €4,000 and €12,500.

Judge Leo Malone decided at Cork District Court yesterday the cases were too serious to be dealt with at district court level and refused jurisdiction.

All the cases will now be dealt with by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, where it will be a matter of trial by judge and jury in the event of charges being contested.

Insp Pat Meaney said that, in many of the cases, the DPP had decided the cases could be dealt with at Cork District Court, on a plea of guilty only. In those cases the judge asked for an outline of the alleged facts. Having heard some details, he refused jurisdiction in each case.

In four of the 16 cases, the DPP had directed they would be dealt with by indictment.

All 16 cases were adjourned to either April 1 or April 15 for preparation and service of books of evidence.

The charges resulted from a garda investigation, code-named Operation Nascar and co-ordinated by the Organised Crime Unit at Anglesea St Garda Station.

The operation investigated alleged fraudulent insurance claims made as a result of what gardai described in evidence yesterday at orchestrated traffic accidents.

The accidents were reported at Monastery Hill, Rochestown, Cork, on December 6, 2011; Carrigane, Mitchelstown, on August 28, 2012, and Clyda Bridge, Mallow, on September 26, 2012.

Each of the 16 defendants faces at least one charge of deception contrary to the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and one count of making a false report contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1976.

Tommy Maher, aged 51, of Scarteen, Newmarket, Co Cork, is accused of three counts of deception and three counts of making a false report.

Rory Hannaway, aged 29, of 42 Bonnóg, Midleton, Co Cork, is charged with one count of deception and one of making a false report..

Rory Keating of Killinane, Liscarroll, Mallow, faces two deception and two false report charges.

The fourth person against whom the DPP directed trial by jury was John Murphy, aged 55, of 118 Blackwater Heights, Youghal, on one charge of deception and one of making a false report.

In respect of the other 12 accused, each was charged with one count of deception and one of making a false report.

The are Patrick Browne, aged 52, of Ballybeg West, Buttevant; Eileen Browne, aged 49, of the same address; Maciej Lukianiuk, aged 29, of 10 The Cotswolds, Midleton; Selena Sexton, aged 39, of 118 Blackwater Heights, Youghal; Dawn Philpott, aged 35, of Main St, Ballynoe; Jenny Moloney, aged 49, of Ardragh Crescent, Youghal; Damian O’Driscoll, aged 22, of 13 Connolly Avenue, Mallow; Elizabeth O’Driscoll, aged 32, of 110 Woodview Drive, Mallow; Dana Duggan, aged 34, of 6 College Gardens, College Manor, Cobh; Tomas Hayes, aged 29, of 16 James St, Cashel, Co Tipperary; Matthew Kamara, aged 38, of 6 The Kilns, Midleton and also with an address at Military Hill, Cork; and Peter Fitzpatrick, of 112 Glencullen, Fermoy.

While some of the defendants reportedly received no compensation, others allegedly received sums ranging from €4,000 to €12,500.

Gardaí from different stations gave evidence yesterday, including Sgt Emmet Daly, Mallow, Sgt Noel Madden, Gurranabraher, and Det Garda Jim Fitzpatrick from Mitchelstown.


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