Saturday 21 September 2019

Garda formally resigns after pleading guilty to corruption charges

Gda John O’Halloran. Photo: Provision
Gda John O’Halloran. Photo: Provision

Ralph Riegel

A garda has formally resigned from the force after pleading guilty to corruption charges.

John O'Halloran (46) resigned from the force after more than 20 years of Cork-based service as a consequence of pleading guilty to corruption, theft and fraud charges.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain was told that O'Halloran, formerly of Barrack Street Garda Station, has now tendered his resignation.

Last month, the former community garda pleaded guilty to 11 sample charges from more than 200 charges tendered.

Judge O'Donnabhain was told by Siobhan Lankford BL, for the defence, that the Garda had resigned and was now seeking an adjournment of sentencing.

"It was listed today to clarify one issue. He has resigned," she said.

Ms Lankford said she was not seeking any special reports for the sentencing of her client.

However, she confirmed to the court that she would be introducing several character witness statements.

Judge O'Donnabhain agreed to adjourn sentencing until February 26 next.

He remanded O'Halloran on continuing bail.

The 46-year-old pleaded guilty in October to three counts of corruption, one count of making a gain by deception and seven counts of thefts.

All the charges involve various dates between June 2009 and September 2015 in Cork.

The corruption charges involve obtaining cheques for €785.40, €1,994.56 and €949.24.

All the cheques were all drawn on the University College Cork (UCC) Students’ Union account at AIB Bank, College Road, Cork.

The charges specified that O’Halloran corruptly obtained the cheques as an inducement or as a reward for the provision of his services as a garda while already employed and paid as a garda.

Three of the sample theft charges involved O’Halloran stealing monies at AIB Bank, Western Road, Cork from the CIÉ pension scheme for staff.

These charges involved dates  between December 2011 and September 2014.

Another charge involved the theft of €100 from Connaught Avenue Residents Association, a group based in Cork's south inner city.

The three other theft charges involved stealing hundreds of euros from private companies.

The deception charge involved inducing a resident of Connaught Avenue in Cork in November 2013 to give him €5,500 by claiming he had got a tax bill for €11,550 from the Revenue Commissioners.

The former garda had claimed the tax bill was in relation to an offshore bank account held by his late father, Sean.

However, the charge specified that O'Halloran knew that there was no tax bill issued by the Revenue Commissioners.

After O'Halloran had initially pleaded to the 11 charges, his defence counsel, Ronan Munro SC, accepted that his client accepted it was now impossible for him to continue as a garda.

O'Halloran did not address the brief court hearing.

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