The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has seized almost €1m from an organised crime gang suspected of operating a nationwide spree of burglaries and distraction thefts.
The gang, based in Tallaght in south Co Dublin, has been under investigation by the CAB since 2010.
The bureau identified a network of bank accounts, with a total balance of more than €950,000 and secured a series of successes against the gang in the High Court this week.
Mr Justice Kevin Feeney gave the go-ahead for:
• A total of €415,000 being forwarded to State coffers under proceeds of crime orders.
• Additional payments of more than €310,000 to the Department of Social Protection while the CAB can also secure an interest in a house in Tallaght to pay off further social welfare debts due.
• More than €210,000 to be paid to the Revenue Commissioners because of tax debts.
Further judgements totalling more than €1m have also been obtained against the gang.
The court approved the termination of a number of social welfare payments and, as a result, savings in excess of €84,000 have been achieved.
The confiscations were approved as a result of a CAB investigation into the criminal activities and financial affairs of what were described as members of the "Pale Miley" Connors organised crime gang.
Among those targeted in the investigation was Jimmy Connors (55) of Curragh Grange, Newbridge, Co Kildare, who has 195 criminal convictions, which include burglary, trespass, larceny and handling stolen property.
Also under investigation were Myles Connors senior (73) of The Avenue, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, who has 123 convictions, including burglary, trespass, larceny and handling offences; Ann Connors senior (79), also of The Avenue, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, since deceased; Myles Connors junior (48) of Cookstown Cottages, Tallaght, who has 75 convictions, including burglary, trespass, larceny and handling offences; Mary Connors (nee Cawley) (36) of Cloonmore Park, Jobstown, Tallaght, who has two convictions for larceny and handling offences; and Margaret Teresa O'Brien (32) of Sundale Avenue, Tallaght, who has one conviction for larceny.
As a result of evidence gathered during the CAB investigation, a file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, which resulted in a prosecution against Mary Connors.
She was convicted of 48 counts of social welfare fraud and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.