'Broken man' is facing two weeks jail



THE former chairman of The World Bodhran Championships ( WBC) who faces 90 charges of fraud, has agreed to spend two weeks in prison when he appears at Cahersiveen District Court this Thursday.

At last week's sitting in Killorglin, Dan Cronin (48) of 23 Kilcolman, Milltown, agreed to spend two weeks in prison concerning charges of forged cheques written during his tenure as head of the now defunct festival.

The case had been adjourned in December when Judge James O'Connor had warned of prison but solicitor Padraig O'Connell had successfully pleaded that his client be allowed to spend Christmas at home.

On Thursday, the solicitor again appealed for leniency and entered a letter from the local Comhaltas Ceoltóirí branch on Mr Cronin's behalf.

"This was totally at the behest of Comhaltas and no approach was made to them," the solicitor stated.

"They had read the dispatches of medics and indicated that they would come to court and orally state what was in the letter," Mr O'Connell continued.

He added that his client had been receiving treatment from his GP and from a consultant psychologist through KGH.

Judge O'Connor stated that he accepted what was in the letter but warned that the defendant would have to serve time, at least four or five weeks.

"I beg you not to put him in jail. It will serve no benefit," the solicitor replied, adding that his client was not prepared for jail.

"He is from a decent background but lost his job of 22 years and is unemployable.

"He is a broken man, effectively isolated in his own mind but the community has rallied around. There have been no losses as his family has paid and he is putting his hands up," Mr O'Connell added.

The judge then adjourned the case until this Thursday and indicated that the defendant would be remanded for two weeks and placed on probation.

"He is extremely grateful and you are exceptionally compassionate," the solicitor added.

Mr Cronin pleaded guilty to 27 counts of fraud in June, relating to nine cheques totalling €12,000 and written from a cheque-book belonging to his former employer, William O'Shea.

He faces 63 further charges concerning 38 forged cheques relating to a total of over €20,000 illegally secured from the festival account. The latter charges are currently with the DPP and will be before the Circuit Criminal Court next month.

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