Garda pleads guilty to corruption, theft and fraud in Cork

John O’Halloran obtained cheques drawn on UCC student union account

Garda John O’Halloran who appeared in Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Friday on corruption and fraud charges. Photograph: Provision

 

A 46-year-old member of An Garda Síochána has pleaded guilty to corruption, theft and fraud offences while working as a community garda in Cork.

John O’Halloran, who was based at Barrack Street Garda station in Cork city, pleaded guilty to 11 sample charges from over 200 charges when he was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Friday.

O’Halloran pleaded guilty to three counts of corruption, one of making a gain by deception and seven counts of thefts on various dates between June 2009 and September 2015 in Cork.

The corruption charges relate to O’Halloran corruptly obtaining cheques for €785.40, €1,994.56 and €949.24 which were all drawn on the UCC Students’ Union account at AIB Bank, College Road, Cork.

The corruption charges state that O’Halloran corruptly obtained the cheques as an inducement or as a reward for the provision of his services as a garda while already employed and paid as a garda.

Three of the sample theft charges relate to O’Halloran stealing monies at AIB Bank, Western Road, Cork from the CIÉ pension scheme for staff between December 2011 and September 2014.

Another theft charges relate to the theft of €100 from Connaught Avenue Residents Association while the remaining three theft charges relate to stealing hundreds of euros from private companies.

Deception charges

The deception charge relates to inducing a resident of Connaught Avenue in Cork in November 2013 to give him €5,500 by claiming he had got a tax bill for €11,550 from the Revenue Commissioners.

O’Halloran claimed that the tax bill related to an offshore account held by his late father, Sean O’Halloran, even though he knew that no such tax bill existed, the deception charge states.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin noted O’Halloran’s plea on all eleven sample counts and inquired of defence counsel Ronan Munro SC if O’Halloran was still a serving member of An Garda Síochána.

Mr Munro said that O’Halloran was still a serving officer but he fully accepted that his membership of the force was now incompatible with his guilty pleas on the various charges against him.

Judge Ó Donnabháin adjourned the matter until November 23rd to allow the matter of O’Halloran’s departure from An Garda Síochána would be resolved prior to sentencing on the charges.

O’Halloran – who spoke only to confirm his guilty pleas on the sample charges – was remanded on continuing bail by Judge Ó Donnabháin to appear again at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on that date when evidence will be given.