Wednesday 19 December 2018

Mother would require €120k salary to make amount she receives in State benefits - court hears

The Future Growth Loan Scheme which it hopes will be in operation in early 2019 makes up to €300m of loans available with a term of 8-10 years. (stock photo)
The Future Growth Loan Scheme which it hopes will be in operation in early 2019 makes up to €300m of loans available with a term of 8-10 years. (stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

A mother admitted in court yesterday that she would have to be earning a pre-tax income of €120,000 a year to make the amount she receives in State benefits.

At Kilrush District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan calculated that mother of four, Mary Maughan receives €55,000 a year on various State benefits.

Addressing Ms Maughan, Judge Durcan said: "You receive around €55,000 a year in benefits and if you were paying tax and all of that, you would need an income of €120,000 a year."

In reply in the witness box, Ms Maughan said: "Probably."

Judge Durcan said: "People are always complaining that the level of social welfare payments are inadequate - that is a political view - and the court can’t comment on something like that otherwise than to note."

Solicitor, Tara Godfrey said that the payments are required for the care of six children.

Ms Maughan receives benefit payments concerning her own four children along with two other children she is guardian of.

In court yesterday, Ms Maughan was put forward as a bails person to provide an independent surety for her brother, Darren Maughan (26) who is currently on remand in prison but requires an independent surety for his conditional release on bail.

Solicitor for Mr Maughan, Tara Godfrey yesterday provided to the court details of the individual social welfare payments that Ms Maughan receives.

Ms Godfrey said that Ms Maughan receives €358.20 in a weekly carer’s allowance; a weekly payment of €352 in a guardian payment along with Child benefit monthly payments of €840 and a monthly domiciliary care allowance of €309.

Ms Godfrey said that in addition, Ms Maughan receives €3,400 annually in a respite grant as she is the carer of two children who are not her own.

Ms Godfrey said that Ms Maughan has €1,000 in different savings in court to put forward as independent surety.

Ms Maughan confirmed that she has a bank account but didn’t have bank details with her in court.

However, Judge Durcan rejected Ms Maughan’s application to provide the independent surety.

He said that Ms Maughan is clearly burdened by huge responsibility and "it seems to me inappropriate that she should now be burdened with the danger of losing any of that money".

He said: "I refuse to accept this lady as surety by virtue of the nature of her payments she receives; that she hasn’t produced a verifiable bank account and it is unfair on someone who has the burdens she has in life should have the added burden of providing surety."

At Ennis District Court last week, Gardai objected to Darren Maughan obtaining bail after claiming that he was part of an alleged "drug related feud".

Mr Maughan (26) of Stonecourt, Drumbiggle was before the court on three charges of criminal damage on January 11th at Waterpark, Ennis and Ms Godfrey denied that her client was part of any feud.

She said: "Certainly we’re not agreeing to that at all. We would say it is possibly gossip or hostile intelligence from someone….We’re not part of a feud".

Judge Durcan had remanded Mr Maughan in custody with consent to bail to appear before Ennis District Court today.

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