Friday 20 April 2018

Woman accused of 21 social welfare fraud offences faces trial

Patricia Sweeney pictured outside Blanchardstown Court.
Patricia Sweeney pictured outside Blanchardstown Court.

Andrew Phelan

A woman is facing trial charged with stealing more than €3,300 in social welfare money over a four-year period.

Patricia Sweeney (60) is charged with 21 welfare theft and fraud offences.

The case against her was adjourned at Blanchardstown District Court for the preparation of a book of evidence.


Ms Sweeney is charged with 17 separate counts of theft from the Department of Social Protection. The individual sums range between €188 and €203, totalling €3,357.

The thefts are alleged to have happened at places unknown between March 7, 2011 and February 5, 2015.

She is further charged with four counts of using a false instrument - a Department of Social Protection Declaration of Unemployment Form.

These offences are alleged to have happened at the Social Welfare Office, Ninthlock Road in Clondalkin on dates between April 28, 2014 and January 19, 2015.

A State solicitor said the DPP was directing trial on indictment in the Circuit Court on the charges.

Judge David McHugh granted free legal aid to the accused after her lawyer produced a statement of her financial means.

Ms Sweeney, with an address at Foxdene Green in Clondalkin, has not yet indicated how she intends to plead to the charges.

She was remanded on continuing bail.

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