Almost €24,000 in welfare claimed using friend's card


A MAN who used a friend’s social welfare card to claim jobseeker’s allowance payments totalling €23,767 will make a further appearance in court in relation to the matter in October.

Michael Cawley (36), Rivermeade Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to six sample counts from 116 counts brought against him relating to social welfare claims he made in the other man’s name.

Det Garda Jonathan Hayes of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Cawley had used a social welfare card belonging to an “old friend” called Thomas Mongan after he moved to Britain.

The court heard the men met at a wedding where they agreed Cawley, who was himself claiming jobseeker’s since 2005, would sign on using Mr Mongan’s social welfare card.

The court heard Cawley had accrued debts arising from a drugs problem.

Cawley previously pleaded guilty on a sample count, that, on February 20th, 2009, in Malahide post office, he stole €204 belonging to the department of social and family affairs contrary to section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to five other sample counts, between March 24th, 2009, and May 26th, 2011, relating to amounts ranging between €188 and €408.60.

The court heard Cawley would attend Malahide post office and produce a social welfare card, which would be swiped and two receipts issued, which would be signed by the claimant.

In 2011, following contact from the Department of Social Protection, which expressed concerns that the person who was making the claims was not Mr Mongan, gardaí obtained a warrant to search Cawley’s residence. There they found a social welfare card in the name of Thomas Mongan.

Cawley was detained by gardaí on July 14th after which point he was interviewed and gave a full account and admission of his actions.

Pending a clarification relating to the case, Judge Leonie Reynolds remanded Cawley on bail until October 8th when the case will be put in for mention.