Jail sentences for West Cork men engaged in illegal charity collection

Two West Cork men received 60-day prison sentences for carrying out an unauthorised collection for a charity in Kinsale last November.
Jail sentences for West Cork men engaged in illegal charity collection

Two West Cork men received 60-day prison sentences for carrying out an unauthorised collection for a charity in Kinsale last November.

A judge has handed down 60-day jail sentences to two men for carrying out an unauthorised collection for the Jack and Jill Foundation, saying he didn't believe their explanation and instead found it was for "self-enrichment".

John Delaney and James Delaney, of Pier Road in Bantry in Co Cork, both pleaded guilty before Bandon District Court to one count each of conducting an unauthorised collection in the car park of Lidl in Kinsale on November 23 last.

Sgt Paul Kelly told Judge James McNulty that gardaí in Kinsale received a report of the collection and two officers on patrol then attended outside Lidl, where they saw John Delaney, 24, and James Delaney, 33.

Both had Jack and Jill t-shirts, sponsorship cards, and a bucket with a poster attached bearing the name of the charity. The bucket contained loose change.

The court heard that John Delaney explained to gardaí that he had contacted a senior person in the charity seeking to hold a collection and was planning on running a marathon to raise funds after Christmas.

The court heard he told gardaí on the day that he had received the t-shirts and cards from the charity and that he believed this was in effect a permit to hold the collection.

Gardaí contacted the Jack and Jill Foundation immediately and were informed by a fundraising executive that the t-shirts and cards had been forwarded to the men some months before, but not the bucket, as the charity had not received proof that the men had applied to gardaí for the necessary permit.

The items were seized, along with €61.50 in cash.

"Good intentions"

The men pleaded guilty but in evidence, John Delaney, questioned by his solicitor, Ray Hennessy, said he had lost his own child four years previously when she was just an infant, and that he had already carried out a skydive for charity.

He told the judge he had planned to run a marathon somewhere in Cork for charity and denied the collection was for self-gain, adding: "I genuinely thought everything was legit."

Mr Hennessy told the judge the men clearly believed they were holding a legitimate collection and added of John Delaney: "I don't think his good intentions should be punished."

The court heard that James Delaney had 81 previous convictions, including three for conducting house-to-house collection offences. John Delaney had 19 previous convictions, mostly for public order offences.

The possible sanctions in the case extended to €5,000 in fines or six months in jail.

Judge McNulty said he recalled sympathising with John Delaney at the time of the death of his child but he said: "I think the Jack and Jill t-shirts were all a cover for personal fundraising."

He gave John Delaney a 60-day sentence, suspended, and handed James Delaney a 60-day sentence which he said was to be served, adding: "The court has no doubt this was personal enrichment."

Both men lodged appeals on their own recognisance of €100.

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