Woman pleads guilty to theft from Guranabraher credit union

Woman pleads guilty to theft from Guranabraher credit union
Leona Daly who appeared at Cork Court yesterday. Pic: Michael Mac Sweeney

A FORMER officer of Gurranabraher Credit Union pleaded guilty yesterday to charges relating to the theft of over €300,000 from her employer over a period of several years.

Leona Daly, aged 36, with an address at 4 Meadow Avenue, The Meadows, Knocknaheeny, 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 Leona Daly with the counts on July 23 outside the Bridewell Garda Station.

At Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Shane Collins Daly, solicitor, said the accused 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 the accused signed in court to each of the charges.

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 of the same act.

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

The other type of charge against Leona 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 your knowledge was, or could have been, misleading, false or deceptive, in a material particular.

Once the signed pleas of guilty were entered, Judge Olann Kelleher then sent the case forward for the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court commencing on October 22.

It will then be a matter for that court to hear the full background to the case and impose a sentence on the accused. Mr Collins-Daly was appointed to represent the accused on free legal aid.

Inspector Kennelly said there was no objection to bail being granted to the accused and no conditions were required.

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