A Cork man who claimed pensions for his deceased mother and father for over 30 years gambled away all of the €1 million he collected, it emerged today.
Donal O’Callaghan knows he is facing a jail term but wants to address his gambling addiction before the sentence is imposed, his senior counsel Ray Boland said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
“The offences are the collecting of his deceased parents’ pensions over 30 years. The total is close to €1 million.
“He suffers a gambling addiction – He gambled it all away.”
Mr Boland said that the psychotherapist who examined the accused reported that he would benefit from a gambling diversion programme.
The senior counsel said he did not know if such a programme was available in Ireland.
“I am hoping the probation service will be aware of one,” he said.
“I am asking for it to be adjourned to February and that he be directed to go to any treatment recommended by the probation service. I have told him he will be receiving a custodial sentence and he is aware of that.
“He lives alone in Churchfield. He is not a flight risk. He has a realistic attitude in terms of what the penalty will be. I just want to put as much mitigation as possible in place,” Mr Boland said.
Judge Helen Boyle remanded the accused on bail for sentencing on February 15.
While Mr Boland referred to some background to the offences, to which O’Callaghan pleaded guilty, so far the prosecution has not outlined the background which gave rise to the charges that were brought. This will be given in full in February.
Garda Mick Nagle who is based at the Department of Social Protection arrested Donal O’Callaghan of 4 Churchfield Green, Cork, following an investigation.
The accused man was charged with 73 counts related to a period lasting 33 years. 68 counts relate to theft and five relate to false documentation in support of the fraudulent claims.
Donal O’Callaghan came before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on a signed plea of guilty to the charges and he confirmed that signed plea of guilty to all of the charges against him.
The theft charges state that the accused man claimed pension payments in respect of his parents pretending they were still alive when in fact they were deceased.