Wife and cousin of Olympic hero Nevin admit illegal fundraising
THE wife and cousin of Olympic boxing hero John Joe Nevin have appeared in court following an illegal door-to-door collection to help his family get to the London Games.
The secretary at Cavan Amateur Boxing Club has been invited to appear before Mullingar District Court at the next hearing of the case to explain how the women had sponsorship cards carrying the club's name.
Judge Seamus Hughes asked that Brian McKeown come before him to "clear the air" about the collection cards, which carry the London 2012 logo, and state that funds raised were to assist John Joe's parents Martin and Winnie, and his wife Marie and son Martin to travel to London.
Mary Nevin of Grange Meadows and Marie Nevin of Ardleigh Vale, Mullingar, were accused of carrying an unauthorised collection and pleaded guilty to the offence. They admitted collecting money, using cards they say they were provided by the club.
They were stopped at Newtown Lawns, Mullingar, in April this year following a report to gardai by a member of the public. They had €61 in cash and a card pledging €195.20.
Defence solicitor Robert Marren said the women didn't produce the cards themselves and didn't know there was no permit or that they needed one.
But Inspector Jarlath Folan said gardai spoke to club secretary Mr McKeown, who told them he did not give permission for any collection without a permit.
A subsequent permit application was turned down, the court heard.
The back of the card contains a long message, stating that Cavan Amateur Boxing Club is very proud of John Joe Nevin, and that most of his major wins have occurred abroad, "away from family, friends and fans".
"London is an ideal opportunity for his parents and his wife and child to share a very special occasion with him.
"However accommodation over the Olympic period is very expensive and way above their means," the message continued.
"The Cavan Boxing Club would like to call on all sports fans to show their support for an exceptional boxer by assisting his family attend this very special occasion," it went on.
The message ended with a mobile phone number and invitation to contact club secretary Mr McKeown at any time regarding the collection.
Judge Hughes said the women are in serious trouble if Mr McKeown swears the club had nothing to do with the collection.
He said he assumed the club would ensure permits were in order before asking innocent family members to go out door-to-door.
Adjourning the case to February for Mr McKeown to appear, Judge Hughes said the people whose names appear on the card are entitled to keep their character intact.