€16k stolen from charity

A former bookkeeper for the Brothers of Charity in Cork confessed yesterday to stealing more than €16,000 from the charity over a three-year period.

Blanche Birmingham, formerly of Pairc Na Greinne, Rathcormac, Co Cork, appeared in Cork District Court on 14 charges related to theft and deception.

Inspector Mary King said the Director of Public Prosecutions directed trial on indictment on all counts.

That would then require preparation of a book of evidence for the case to be sent forward to Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

However, defence solicitor, Emmet Boyle, said it would not be necessary to have a book of evidence prepared as the accused was prepared to plead guilty yesterday.

Blanche Birmingham then entered a signed plea of guilty to all charges against her.

The main charge against the 38-year-old accused was that on dates between November 21, 2007, and December 31, 2010 the accused stole €16,290 from the Brothers of Charity, Southern Services, Lota, Glanmire, Co Cork.

The other charges relate to deception where it is stated that on various dates the defendant made a gain for herself by furnishing information for the purposes of monthly expenditure books a document for accounting purposes which was false, misleading and deceptive.

Those deception charges related to the Brothers of Charity at Woodland, Kerrypike, Co Cork.

Mr Boyle said the accused had since moved to a new address and was presently in receipt of €300 per week and he applied for free legal aid.

Judge Con O’Leary granted this application and extended it to cover a barrister for the sentencing hearing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The case was adjourned until October 25 on the application of Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan. Investigating officer Garda Robert McCarthy is expected to give evidence at the hearing.


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