Bookkeeper pleads guilty to theft
The theft of more than €12,000 from a Galway solicitor’s office by one of its employees came to light when the office was inspected by the Law Society of Ireland.
Colette Conroy (29) from Tawnaghbawn, Cashel, Co Galway, pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court yesterday to five charges of theft from a city-centre solicitor’s office on dates between November 2008 and January 2010.
Garda Pauline de Paor gave evidence Conroy had been employed as bookkeeper and financial controller at the office and had access to all accounts. During an inspection by the Law Society of the solicitor’s office in January 2010 it was discovered funds had gone missing from the company’s accounts.
A Garda investigation revealed Conroy had made numerous unauthorised transfers from the company accounts into her own bank account, totalling €12,322.
Paul Flannery SC, defending, said his client’s workload had increased without any increase in her salary and she had misunderstood a verbal agreement she had with her employer.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said great stress and embarrassment had been caused to the solicitor by the grave breach of trust, but he agreed to adjourn sentencing in the matter to next October to allow Conroy to repay more money and finish her studies.