A clerical officer who was paid €12,500 to process five passports for foreign nationals who were not entitled to them will be sentenced next month.
Barry Kindregan (36) also organised passports for two other people but never received the agreed payment for them.
Kindregan, of Downside Heights, Skerries, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four sample charges including possession of a false passport and three charges of corruptly agreeing to accept a sum of money in cash as a reward for providing a passport on dates between August 1st, 2012 and July 2013. He has no previous convictions.
He had been working as an officer in the passport office since 2007 when a colleague approached him in August 2012 and sought advice “for people in South African who wanted to get Irish passports”.
Kindregan said they would have to look for a foreign birth registration but the colleague spoke to him again some time later and admitted the people in question wouldn’t be entitled to such registration. She asked him if he would be interested in producing passports for them for cash.
He later told gardaí in interview that he considered the proposal for a few days before he agreed to process the applications. He ultimately delivered seven completed passports for South African, Vietnamese, American and Moldovan nationals, back to his colleague.
Kindregan admitted that he only checked supporting documentation to make sure the name was spelled properly and acknowledged that he knew the applicants were not entitled to Irish passports.
Judge Melanie Greally said she needed time to consider the case and remanded Kindregan on bail to March 11th.
Detective Garda Joanne O’Sullivan told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that an agreement had been reached between Kindregan and his colleague that he would get €1,250 at the start of the application for the passport and a final €1,250 when it was completed.
She agreed that he never received the payment for the first two passports and he contacted gardaí himself, following his arrest for the first two passports, to admit that he had processed a further five.
Det Gda O’Sullivan agreed with Ronan Kennedy BL, defending, that his client was “not the prime mover” in the operation and was used to facilitate another person. She said she believed he was manipulated and deliberately targeted because of his known IT skills.
Det Gda O’Sullivan accepted that Kindregan co-operated fully with the garda investigation, was genuinely remorseful and was unlikely to come to garda attention in the future. She agreed that he lost his job in the passport office but had since secured new employment.
Counsel said there were about 30 people from all over the community in court in support of Kindregan “bearing testimony to his character”.