Former Fianna Fáil councillor remanded in custody after being found guilty of obtaining money by deception

Gary O’Flynn found guilty of 13 charges and not guilty of a further nine

Gary O’Flynn: was remanded in custody for sentence on June 26th

Gary O’Flynn: was remanded in custody for sentence on June 26th

Thu, May 29, 2014, 10:13

A former Fianna Fáil councillor has been remanded in custody for sentence after he was convicted of obtaining money by deception while working as a financial adviser.

Gary O’Flynn (38), of Hayfield Drive, Castle Court, Whitechurch, Co Cork, had denied 21 sample charges of obtaining money by deception.

Yesterday a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court found him guilty of 13 counts of obtaining sums totalling €1,000 by deception. The charges relate to money he obtained from Eric Higgins between December 31st, 2009, and January 27th, 2012.

The jury found O’Flynn not guilty of five other charges and he was acquitted by direction of a further three charges relating to sums totalling €341 he obtained from Deborah O’Shea.

Psychiatric report

After the verdicts Judge Seán Ó Donnabhain remanded O’Flynn in custody for sentence on June 26th, and he acceded to a defence application for free legal aid to allow for the preparation of a psychiatric report.

O’Flynn served on Cork City Council from autumn 2003 until December 2008.

The trial heard that gardaí identified 129 lodgment transactions by Mr Higgins and Ms O’Shea into bank accounts nominated by O’Flynn.

A former builder, Mr Higgins told the court he was struggling with debts to Bank of Scotland and Friends First when he received a letter from a company called Debt Assist. He rang the company and met O’Flynn.

“He told me he was also a solicitor and would engage with the institutions. He told me ‘don’t worry, all will be fine’.”

Bank account

He said O’Flynn set up an agreed payment of €40 a week to Bank of Scotland and €22.50 to Friends First, to be paid into a bank account nominated by O’Flynn. The bank account was with AIB South Mall in Cork, but later O’Flynn asked him to pay the money into an account with Bank of Ireland in Blackpool. He believed the money was being paid back to Bank of Scotland and Friends First, but he began getting letters from both institutions threatening legal action over failed payments.

“When I told Gary O’Flynn about the letters, he said ‘bring that up to me, I will sort that out too… It is only money, don’t be panicking, don’t be worrying’.”

O’Flynn’s defence to all complaints were that the payments made by both complainants to the two accounts were for fees due to him for his work with them as a solicitor.