Cork woman who fraudulently claimed €69k in carer’s allowance has sentencing put back to allow her gather more compensation

Cork woman who fraudulently claimed €69k in carer’s allowance has sentencing put back to allow her gather more compensation

Mary O’Callaghan pictured outside Cork Court on a previous occasion.  

A 52-year-old woman who fraudulently claimed €69,000 in carer’s allowance for her minding her elderly mother in Cork when she was actually living in London has now repaid €19,000 and wants to pay more.

Garda John Dineen, who is seconded to the Department of Social Protection, said Mary O’Callaghan of Woodvale Road, Beaumont, Blackrock, Cork, used a significant amount of the money she defrauded for a significant amount of foreign travel.

He said she was very co-operative with the investigation since she was first approached by gardaí and gathered €10,000 in compensation. 

Defence barrister, Nikki O’Sullivan, said that the accused has now come up with an additional €9,000 since April.

Sinéad Behan prosecution barrister said the state was happy to have sentencing further adjourned for more compensation.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin put it back until September 21.

Regarding further compensation the judge said, “It may not change the outcome but it may ameliorate matters somewhat from the state point of view.” 

Garda Dineen said there were 243 counts of theft representing a total of over €69,000 by fraudulently claiming carer’s allowance for minding her mother in Cork when she (the defendant) was living in London. 

Payments were made to her from 2013 to 2019.

“It came to the Department’s attention she was not living in the country,” Garda Dineen said. "A Social Welfare inspector made various enquiries with Ryanair. He witnessed her flying in from Gatwick. 

"And an investigation commenced." 

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