Garda pleads not guilty to wages theft
A garda paid himself more than €3,000 in overtime wages "for work he didn't do", a court has heard.
Ciaran Folan (44), of Ramstown, Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford, is accused of stealing more than €3,309.46 in overtime allowances from his employer, the then Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan.
Gda Folan, who the court heard is still a serving member of the force, pleaded not guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to five counts of theft.
The offences are alleged to have happened on dates between September 6, 2007 and January 31, 2008 when Gda Folan was carrying out temporary duties as a financial clerk at Clifden Garda Station.
Senior prosecution counsel John O'Sullivan told a jury of eight women and four men, that Gda Folan was "presumed innocent" and that the prosecution must "prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt".
Mr O'Sullivan told the jury that Juliann Gill, who operated the payroll system for members of Clifden Garda Station, took maternity leave in June 2007 and Gda Folan took over her duties.
"Ciaran Folan took over her position on a temporary basis. He stepped into her shoes," Mr O'Sullivan said.
The position involved Gda Folan "processing people's pay, including his own", he said.
The position meant Gda Folan could not be rostered for weekend or bank holiday work and, as such, "he was not entitled to claim for weekends or bank holidays," Mr O'Sullivan added.
"He procured payments to himself in allowances he was not entitled to."
It is alleged that Gda Folan unlawfully claimed overtime allowances for night duty and weekend work.
He is accused of stealing sums ranging from the lowest amount of €357.78 to the highest amount of €1,056, which came to a total of €3,309.46.
"The prosecution will prove payment slips were generated for Ciaran Folan, which meant that he got paid for work he didn't do," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"It is the prosecution's case that he managed to do that as he was in charge of the payroll."
The trial continues.