Monday 24 October 2016

Man accused of collecting dead relative's pension for over 20 years to stand trial

Reginald O’Donnell
Reginald O’Donnell

This is the Dublin man accused of collecting a relative's pension for more than 20 years after his death.

Reginald O'Donnell (62) allegedly pretended his dead relative was alive for 23 years so that he could collect the man's pension.

Over two decades, Mr O'Donnell is alleged to have illegally obtained more than €10,000 in cash from the Department of Social Welfare.

It is alleged that the social welfare fraud began in January 1988 and continued for some 23 years until it was detected in January 2011.

The accused appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with more than 90 counts of false pretence and theft.

Due to the antiquity of some of the offences, Mr O'Donnell is charged with false pretences under the Larceny Act 1916.

It is alleged that Mr O'Donnell, with intent to defraud, falsely pretended that Thomas O'Donnell was in a position to receive pension payments.

Mr Thomas O'Donnell, who was deceased, was the intended recipient of the pension payments.


The first incident, where Mr O'Donnell allegedly obtained €79.23 in cash, took place at An Post, North Circular Road, Dublin 7 on January 22, 1988.

Over the years, the individual pension amounts allegedly fraudulently obtained by Mr O'Donnell rose from €79.23 in 1988 to €93.33 in 1993; €111.74 in 1998; €128.24 in 2001; and right up to €240.30 in 2010 and 2011.

In relation to the later allegations, Mr O'Donnell is charged with theft under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.

The alleged incidents all took place at An Post, North Circular Road, Dublin 7.

Garda James Buckley told Blanchardstown court that Mr O'Donnell was charged at 10.30am before court with the offences.

Gda Buckley said that Mr O'Donnell was handed a true copy of the charge sheets and he made no reply to the matters after caution.


Mr O'Donnell, with an address at York Street, Dublin 2, is facing trial by judge and jury in the Circuit Court after the DPP ruled that the allegations were too serious for the District Court. Gda Buckley asked for six weeks to prepare the book of evidence.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the case to a date in November for the service of the book of evidence.

Defence solicitor Shalom Binchy was assigned on free legal aid.

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