A woman was arrested yesterday and charged with thousands of euro in social welfare fraud.
By the time Mary O’Callaghan, aged 52, appeared before Cork District Court she was indicating that she would sign a plea of guilty to all the charges against her.
Garda John Dineen of the Department of Social Protection gave evidence of arresting Mary O’Callaghan of Woodvale Road, Beaumont, Blackrock, Cork, by appointment at the Bridewell garda station at 8.15am yesterday for the purpose of being charged.
Garda Dineen charged her with 20 theft counts. He cautioned her that she did not have to make a reply and she made no reply to any of the charges.
She was then brought before Judge Olann Kelleher at Cork District Court where she was represented by solicitor Frank Buttimer.
Sergeant John Kelleher said the director of public prosecutions had directed trial by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court and also consented to a signed plea of guilty being entered and the case being sent forward to the circuit court for sentencing.
Mr Buttimer said the defendant was pleading guilty to the charges.
The 20 counts related to various amounts, mainly €204 but one was for €10,608, and they cover a period from August 2014 to April 2019. The location for the offences was Ballintemple post office and the charges stated that the amounts were stolen from the Department of Social Protection, contrary to the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Act.
Judge Kelleher sent the case forward for sentencing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on February 1 2021.
No background details were given to the offences that gave rise to the charges or the amount of money involved. Such evidence will be given next year at the sentencing hearing.