Man accused of €20,000 'graves for sale' scam
A 59-year-old man appeared in court yesterday in a 'graves for sale' case where he is accused of the theft and larceny of over €20,000 in connection with the sale of burial plots.
At Shannon District Court, Sean Leamy, of Main Street, Tulla, Co Clare, appeared in connection with a total of 50 charges.
They concerned the theft and larceny of €20,339 from Clare County Council in respect of the sale of burial plots at Clonlea graveyard, Kilkishen, Co Clare, over a 10-year period.
An employee of Clare Co Council, Mr Leamy was responsible for the administration of Clonlea graveyard in the east Clare village of Kilkishen where he was employed as graveyard registrar from September 1999 to June 2009.
In court, Det Garda John Mulvihill gave evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of Mr Leamy.
He said that in response to being read the first charge after caution, Mr Leamy said: "I took the money, but I gave it all back again." For the following 48 charges, Mr Leamy responded "same as before".
The 50th charge concerns the concealment or falsification of an official Clare Co Council cash receipt book and official burial register for accounting purposes.
To that charge, Mr Leamy said: "I don't know."
In total, Mr Leamy is facing 34 charges of theft contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Act, between November 2002 and April 2009, concerning a total amount of €15,990.
He is also facing 15 larceny charges on dates between July 1999 and January 2001, concerning amounts ranging from €158.75 to €381, totalling €4,349.
The counts show that the amounts Mr Leamy is alleged to have taken increased steadily during the 10-year period he served as graveyard registrar.
Legal aid was applied for and gardai did not object to bail being granted in the case.
Judge Joseph Mangan remanded Mr Leamy on bail to re-appear before Killaloe District Court on December 7.