Thursday 22 February 2018

Civil servant 'totally refutes' claim he asked woman for oral sex

Andrew Gilmartin
Andrew Gilmartin

Merese McDonagh

A Department of Social Protection official "absolutely and totally refutes" an allegation that he asked a woman for oral sex in return for her avoiding prosecution for fraud, Sligo Circuit Court has heard.

The woman who made the allegation denied in court that the case was "all about money".

She admitted under cross-examination that she had lied three times on a form relating to a review of her lone parent's allowance.

Andrew Gilmartin (46), of Drumfad, Grange, Co Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to compelling a woman to perform the act at the social welfare offices in Cranmore, Sligo, on April 9, 2014.

The jury of six men and six women heard that, in a statement to gardai, the defendant said he "absolutely and totally" rejected the allegation.

Mr Gilmartin recalled saying "ah, for f***'s sake" to the woman after she told him she was doing a course with the National Learning Network (NLN) because he was "terribly frustrated" with her. He told gardai: "I will admit it was unprofessional."

The defendant, who has worked with the department for 24 years, said he had told the woman she had more than likely committed fraud.

The woman has given evidence that she went into the social welfare office after being contacted about the fact that she had worked in a hotel for a few weeks while receiving the lone parent's allowance.

The woman, who has not been named, then told Mr Gilmartin about the NLN course and he left the room to find out if this would affect her payments.

The accused calculated that the woman had been overpaid by more that €1,400. When he returned he said he would like to deal with the issue "locally".

"I didn't want it to escalate to a prosecution," he said.

The woman was very upset and was crying. Mr Gilmartin said he had locked both doors in the interview room for privacy reasons, as soon as the woman had come in.

After she left the office he rang her to apologise for using bad language.


Kieran O'Dwyer, principal officer in the department, told the jury that no formal complaint had been made.

During cross-examination defence counsel Mr Rory Staines put it to the woman that she had instructed a solicitor in relation to a civil action and that this was "all about money".

The woman said that she went to the garda station immediately after the incident and made a complaint.

The trial was adjourned to Tuesday morning.

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