Former finance chief at Our Lady’s Hospice sent to trial over Spanish property deal

Two men accused of deception arising from loss-making sale of Costa del Sol house

A former head of finance at the country's largest hospice has been sent forward for trial accused of deception following a loss-making deal on a property in the south of Spain.

Gardaí commenced a fraud investigation over irregularities arising from the sale of a Costa Del Sol home that belonged to Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin.

Denis Maguire, 64, a former head of finance of the hospice, and co-defendant Michael Egan, 56, a businessman from Bunnanertish, Knockanillaun, Ballina, Co Mayo, were later charged with deception. They were granted bail with a range of conditions in March.

It is alleged that, on or about March 5th, 2015, they dishonestly, with the intention of causing a loss by deception, induced Our Lady’s Hospice Ltd to sell a property at a loss.

The offence is contrary to section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.

Judge Paula Murphy noted the Director of Public Prosecutions directed "trial on indictment" when they appeared at Dublin District Court on Thursday.

Det Garda Marcus Reidy, attached to Sundrive Road station, served them with books of evidence.

Judge Murphy granted a return for trial order.

She told them they must notify the prosecution if they intended to use alibis, and she ordered gardaí to hand over copies of interview videos to the defence.

There was no objection to bail.

Bail terms

Mr Maguire, with an address at Ballybrack Road, Glencullen, Co Dublin, had to give an undertaking in court during an application for a one-week relaxation of his bail terms.

His solicitor Siobhan Matthews explained Mr Maguire had pre-booked a holiday in the last week of May.

Gardaí had been notified and agreed to allow him to retrieve his passport, which was seized earlier.

However, Judge Murphy warned him that he must use it “for no purpose other than the itinerary he had provided” to gardaí, and he must surrender it on his return.

Asked if he understood, Mr Maguire replied: “Yes, I do, thank you.”

Judge Murphy noted Detective Garda Reidy consented.

The court heard his additional bail conditions required him to sign on regularly at Stepaside Garda station and not apply for other travel documentation.

Mr Egan was warned he must sign on three days a week at Ballina Garda station. Furthermore, he has to notify gardaí in the event of an address change, have no contact with prosecution witnesses, surrender his passport, not leave the jurisdiction and remain contactable by mobile phone. The judge also told him to keep the phone “switched on and charged at all times”.

Judge Murphy told them they were being sent forward for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where the case will be listed on June 2nd.

Neither man has indicated a plea to the alleged offence, which on conviction on indictment can lead to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.