Footballer avoids jail for €300,000 theft
A former Galway footballer who stole over €300,000 from his employers to feed his gambling addiction has escaped jail after the judge said it was not in the interest of justice.
Mark Hehir (26), of Kilgevrin, Tuam, pleaded guilty to 10 charges before Galway Circuit Criminal Court, relating to 72 separate thefts from his then employer, the City Bin Company, on dates between April 20 and September 22, 2016. The company approached gardaí to report €305,000 was taken with €259,000 still outstanding - €29,000 has since been paid back and Hehir is now repaying the money €100 a week.
Hehir, who is now receiving addiction counselling, used the funds to gamble online.
Judge Rory McCabe said the case highlighted the evils of addiction and should be a "red letter warning to any parent" to keep an eye on their children and what they are doing online.
He sentenced Hehir to 240 hours' community service on the first count and two years in jail to be suspended for five years on the remaining counts.