Garda walks free from court on deception charges

Officer had denied two counts of obtaining sums totalling €2,500 by deception

Garda Paul Mulcair at Cork Court . Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts

A garda charged with deception has walked free from court after a judge directed a jury to find him not guilty when the prosecution was unable to call an important witness.

The witness was unable to attend the hearing due to illness, the court heard.

Paul Mulcair (45), with an address care of Kinsale Garda station in Co Cork, had denied two charges of making a gain for himself by deception contrary to Section 6 (1) of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act) 2001 when he was arraigned before a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today.

He was charged that on September 29th, 2015 at Belcare, Eastern Road, Kinsale, he did dishonestly with the intent of making a gain for himself induce Patrick O’Regan to pay him €500 by a deception, He allegedly told Mr O’Regan that he was in receipt of only basic pay and no overtime and bonuses.


He was also charged that on November 27th, 2015 at Haven Hill, Summercove, Kinsale he did dishonestly with intent of making a gain for himself induce Stephen Tobin to pay him €2,000 by a deception where he claimed he was not getting paid and the boiler in his house had broken down.

‘Good guy’

Prosecution barrister, Don McCarthy BL said the State’s case against was not that Mr Mulcair had stolen from the two men but that he had committed a deception by making false statements to induce them to give him money.

Mr Tobin told the court he knew Mr Mulcair from Kinsale Rugby Club and he thought he was “a good guy”.

He said that when Mr Mulcair phoned him in November 2015 for a loan of €500, telling him that his wife was sick and that he had been out of work and he needed the money to get him over Christmas, he agreed to help.

He said that when Mr Mulcair called to collect the money, he told him his boiler had broken down and he needed more money, so he gave him a further €1,500. He eventually got the total sum of €2,000 back from Mr Mulcair even though it took several months to recover the money, the court heard.

Mr McCarthy then called prosecution witness, Inspector Fergal Foley, who had investigated the alleged offences.

Not fit to attend

The court was told he was not in attendance. The court heard earlier in the week that Insp Foley is currently out sick and not fit to attend court and may not be fit to attend into the future.

Mr McCarthy said that in the absence of Insp Foley, he could not produce evidence the boiler was not broken.

He said Mr Tobin’s evidence was the extent of the State’s case.

Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan BL made an application in the absence of the jury to Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin to direct them to find Mr Mulcair not guilty .

The judge recalled the jury and directed them to find Mr Mulcair not guilty of both charges.

“The case is over, the State has no more evidence to call and I must direct you to find the accused not guilty of both counts,” he said before telling Mr Mulcair he was free to go.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times