Tuesday 24 October 2017

Woman accused of conning priest out of €130,000 is back at work

Barry Duggan

THE woman who is alleged to have fraudulently misappropriated €130,000 from a retired priest has returned to work.

However, Mary McLoughlin who lives at Corragaun, Kilmeena, Westport, Co Mayo, won't comment on the civil case which is currently before the High Court.

Relatives of Fr Vincent Kelly took legal action against the community welfare officer, claiming the priest suffered financial loss due to her "deception, fraud, deceit and theft".

When approached by the Irish Independent yesterday, Ms McLoughlin refused to comment. She hung up when attempts were made to contact her by telephone.

Fr Kelly -- a former parish priest in Palmerstown, Co Dublin -- retired to his native Westport 11 years ago. The legal action has been brought by his sister Ann Geary, of Pontoon, Foxford, Co Mayo, who has power of attorney over his affairs.

In an affidavit, Mrs Geary took the case after Fr Kelly told her late last year that a friend was going to move into his home as housekeeper and secretary.

Mrs Geary was later told that person was Mary McLoughlin.

Ms McLoughlin had been given joint control over Fr Kelly's bank accounts at AIB, the court heard. It is claimed that examination of another account of his at Ulster Bank uncovered that €123,000 was removed by Ms McLoughlin leaving the account balance at "nil".

In addition, money from the Ulster Bank account was allegedly transferred to Ms McLoughlin's nephew Thomas and niece Tara.

Friends and relatives arrived to Ms McLoughlin's rural home yesterday morning as news emerged of the legal action.

She works as a community welfare officer at 'The Clinic' in Westport, and left her home and arrived to work at her offices shortly after 9.30am.

She remained there until shortly before noon when she left the office buildings.

A spokesman for the Kelly family said they would not be issuing any comment while the legal action continues and asked that Fr Kelly's privacy be respected.

Earlier this week, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy made a number of orders including one prohibiting Ms McLoughlin from reducing her assets below €51,713.06.

Freezing orders were also obtained against Ms McLoughlin's nephew Thomas McLoughlin, who cannot dissipate his assets below €39,000; and her niece Tara McLoughlin, who cannot reduce her assets below €25,000. The case continues.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News