A MILLTOWN man facing 90 charges relating to €30,000 in false cheques has been warned that he is sure to face jail following an appearance at the district court last week.
Former chairman of the now defunct World Bodhran Championships, Dan Cronin, 23 Kilcolman, was in Killorglin District Court on Thursday where details of nine cheques, written from a cheque-book belonging to former employer, William O'Shea, were heard.
The cheques are part of a wider investigation concerning 38 false cheques which the defendant claims were written to pay bills incurred by the festival.
Addressing Thursday's court, Inspector Fearghal Patwell referred only to the nine cheques in question which total almost €12,000 and have attracted 27 fraud related charges. The charges were entered separately at Killorglin District Court in June when Mr Cronin pleaded to all counts.
The inspector claimed that five of these cheques, totalling €1,370, were not used for festival purposes but were cashed specifically for the benefit of the defendant.
These include three cheques, totalling €900, made payable to Alma's Takeaway, Milltown, and a further cheque for €350, payable to James Murphy, Church Street, Milltown. A cheque of €120 was also made payable directly to the defendant.
The inspector agreed that cheques for €3,853 payable to AW Team, Tralee; €3,800 payable to the Bodhran Festival and €1,390 payable to TD and former publican Brendan Griffin, were used for the benefit of the festival.
He added that there was ambiguity surrounding a further cheque for €1,500 as it was payable to a person since deceased and Judge James O'Connor requested a certificate, bill or invoice relating to the latter payment
Solicitor Padraig O'Connell said he had received the document detailing who had benefitted from each cheque on the morning of the court sitting and had only had a preliminary consultation with his client on the matter
"He says that in certain instances, with respect to the money, he had transferred that money to individuals who didn't want cheques," the solicitor added. Judge O'Connor replied this claim needed the "utmost of evidence", including bringing the persons in question before the court.
Mr O'Connell then commented, "the riddles go out further", before the judge stated that Mr Cronin was "undoubtedly facing jail" from the district court.
Inspector Patwell said that when the case returns to Killorglin next month he would be able to explain why the defendant was using Mr O'Shea's cheque book to pay expenses for the festival.
The remaining 63 charges relate to a total of over €20,000 illegally secured from the account of the now defunct festival.