Brothers pushed woman (72) to write €25,000 in cheques for power tools

Thomas and Patrick O’Driscoll, of Rathkeale in Co Limerick, jailed for two years for deception

Two brothers who followed a 72-year-old woman home and pushed her to write almost €25,000 in cheques to buy power tools, chainsaws and generators from them, have been jailed for two years each.

Thomas O’Driscoll (39), of Boherbuoi, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, and Patrick O’Driscoll (38), of Wolfburgess East, Rathkeale, pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of deception at Goleen, Co Cork in November 2018.

The court heard the men travelled to west Cork on November 20th, 2018 and stayed the night. The following day they engaged a woman in her 70s in conversation at a jewellery shop in Skibbereen.

Patrick O’Driscoll produced a machinery brochure and charmed the woman into giving him her phone number. He told her he would be in Goleen later in the day. At 3.30pm the woman phoned Mr O’Driscoll to say there was no need to call. However, he told her he was reversing his van down her drive.


The woman was perplexed as her house was hard to find and some 40km from Skibbereen.

She was introduced to a second man called “George” and told the men she did not need machinery or tools.

The court heard the pair began to “charm” the woman with talk of Our Lady of Lourdes and then started to become pushy with her. George, who gardaí established was Thomas O’Driscoll, began filling a room in her home with machinery and tools whilst Patrick O’Driscoll continued the conversation.


The court heard the woman started to feel vulnerable as Patrick O’Driscoll became more aggressive and the men told her to write six cheques, which she made out for almost €25,000 in total. She was told to rewrite cheques because they did not want them crossed.

The woman contacted AIB in Skibbereen on November 23rd, 2018, and was told two cheques had been cashed to the sum of €6,500. The other cheques were cancelled by the bank, who advised the woman to contact gardaí.

She told gardaí that she was “bewildered” and could not believe what had happened. The men made no admissions when they were initially arrested in January of last year.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said she was very worried when the men came to her house but that her instincts told her “not to show fear”.

She told the court she was going through “a lot of trauma” at the time and was not in “the proper frame of mind” to deal with the men. She added that she was “frightened and embarrassed” by the incident.

The men have each paid €6,000 in compensation and their barristers said they had €4,000 each held in relation to their bail which they wanted to give to the woman.

‘Not professional’

Mahon Corkery, barrister for Thomas O’Driscoll, said the offence was “not professional or thought out” and that the guilty plea was of significance because the victim did not have to give evidence in court.

Ray Boland, barrister for Patrick O’Driscoll, appealed for leniency given that his client had never been before the circuit court previously.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabhain said it was a “phenomenally serious offence” in which the brothers had followed “an elderly and vulnerable woman home to a remote location”. He said the men were “overbearing” and did not give the woman “time to breathe much less think.”

Describing their behaviour as a “total invasion of the privacy of the woman” he jailed the men for two years each.