Man in court charged with fraud by abuse of position at one of the top GAA clubs in County Antrim

The GAA grounds in Cushendall. Picture: Google Maps

A MAN has appeared in court charged with fraud by abuse of position at one of the top GAA clubs in County Antrim – Cushendall Ruairí Óg.

Patrick Kane (47), with an address at Ardmoyle Park in Cushendall, was in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

He faces five charges – four of fraud by abuse of position and one of false accounting.

The four fraud charges relate to dates between September 1, 2009 and May 1, 2016.

The club has won several Antrim and Ulster hurling titles and on St Patrick’s Day, 2016, they lost out in the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final at Croke Park.

The details of the first fraud charge faced by the defendant are as follows: ‘Between the 1st day of September 2009 and 1st day of May 2016 whilst occupying the position of club treasurer, a position in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club dishonestly abused that position in that you falsely represented that payments were made to suppliers in cash, with the intention, by means of the abuse of that position to make a gain for yourself or another or to cause loss to Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club or to expose Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club to risk of a loss, in breach of section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006’.

The second charge is that: ‘Between the 14th day of February 2012 and the 12th day of December 2015 whilst occupying the position of club treasurer …you falsely represented that funds arising from cheques made out by a benefactor to Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club were your own funds or were funds raised as a result of activities of the club…”

The third charge alleges that ‘between the 9th day of March 2012 and 19th day of July 2013 … you falsely represented 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 fourth fraud by abuse of position charge is that ‘between the 17th day of October 2012 and the 26th day of July 2013 …you falsely represented 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 ”A Kane” and being lodged into a bank account held jointly with your wife’.

The details of the false accounting charge are that ‘on a date unknown between the 5th day of December 2015 and the 8th day of December 2015 dishonestly with a view to gain for yourself or another person or with intent to cause loss to another person destroyed defaced concealed or falsified a certain account record or document namely a Danske Bank statement for Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club showing a balance of £75,896.10 which had been made or required for an accounting purpose’.

The defendant was present in court for a Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court.

A prosecutor submitted that on the basis of the papers before the court there was a case to answer.

A defence solicitor said he had no contrary submissions.

No further details surrounding the allegations were given to the court.

The defendant had the case sent to Antrim Crown Court in mid-February and was given £500 bail.

The defence lawyer said the defendant is “self employed”.

Sending the matter to the Crown Court, District Judge Peter King said they were “very significant allegations”.

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