A FORMER bank official has admitted stealing around £120,000 from a County Antrim GAA club.
Standing in the dock of Antrim Crown Court, Patrick Kane (47) admitted three counts of fraud by abusing the position he held as treasurer with Ruaírí Óg GAC in Cushendall.
Kane, whose address was listed as Ardmoyle Park in Cushendall, also pleaded guilty to to a charge of false accounting in that he “destroyed, defaced, concealed or falsified a certain account record or document, namely a Danske Bank statement for Ruairi Óg Gaelic Athletic Club, showing a balance of £75,896.10 which had been made or required for an accounting purpose”.
The offences were committed on various dates between September 2009 and May 2016.
Although Kane denied a further allegation of fraud by abuse of position, and prosecuting counsel said he would need to “finalise my instructions” on it, defence barrister Joe Brolly told the court “there won’t be a trial in this case”.
“He has always accepted his guilt,” he said.
The fraud charges which Kane admitted are that he falsely claimed payments were made to suppliers in cash, that “funds arising from cheques made out by a benefactor to Ruairí Óg Gaelic Athletic Club were your own”, and that “cheques were being used to pay for legitimate costs associated with the running of the club whereas the cheques were being made out to cash”.
The one charge that Kane denied alleges that other cheques were made out to ‘A Kane’ and paid into an account.
Ruairí Óg is one of the top GAA clubs in Co Antrim, having won several county and provincial hurling titles and they contested the All-Ireland senior club hurling final in 2016.
Following Kane’s confessions, the prosecutor told Judge Melody McReynolds “there’s an agreed basis of plea”.
Mr Brolly revealed that in total, Kane had stolen around £120,000 but that having sold the matrimonial home, he had already paid £113,500 back to the club.
He also said he has resigned from his Bank of Ireland job as a result of his fraud coming to light, adding that “the club are not seeking any further restitution”.
Freeing Kane on bail pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report, Judge McReynolds said she would pass sentence on May 5, the Irish News reports.