Sunday 17 December 2017

Former GAA star appears in court over alleged €700k theft from employer

Johnny McGurk
Johnny McGurk

Neven Farrell

An All-Ireland winner with Derry in 1993 has appeared in court over the alleged theft of more than £570,000 (€737,820) from his employer, one of Northern Ireland's best-known construction and quarrying firms.

Johnny McGurk, whose address was given as Drummuck Road near Maghera, is alleged to have stolen the money while working for Kilrea-based Patrick Bradley Ltd.

It is understood the accused was the company's accountant.

Mr McGurk (50) faces a charge of the theft of £572,206 while he was an employee over a five-and-a-half year period between July 2006 and the end of 2011.

He also faces 36 charges of fraud by abuse of position by drawing amounts of money from the bank accounts of Patrick Bradley Ltd into his own Bank of Ireland savings account.

One of the charges relates to his allegedly drawing on the company a cheque for £3,650 in 2011 for a GAA legends charity golf event.

Mr McGurk is from a family well-known in GAA circles.

As well as being part of the Oak Leaf team that lifted the county's first and only Sam Maguire 23 years ago, he also helped his club Lavey win the All-Ireland title in 1991.

Mr McGurk was at Antrim Crown Court yesterday, where he was due to be arraigned on the charges.

A prosecutor said "further information" was coming through, and she wanted a period of time to consider those new details.

The case was adjourned to next week and Mr McGurk was released on continuing bail.

Last October, when Mr McGurk's case was heard at Coleraine Magistrates Court, a defence lawyer applied for legal aid.

He said that his client was in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance.

Belfast Telegraph

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