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Dole dad took €23k in false payments

A DUBLIN man who falsely claimed over €23,000 in jobseekers allowance is trying to pay back the stolen cash with his legitimate social welfare payments, a court has heard.

Michael Cawley (37) was charged with 116 counts of stealing money from the Department of Social Protection. He made the false claims every week for about three years.

Cawley, of Rivermeade Avenue, Swords, pleaded guilty to stealing money from the Department at Malahide Post Office between February 20, 2009 and May 26, 2011.

Detective Garda Jonathan Hayes told John Fitzpatrick, prosecuting, that Cawley had claimed €23,767 by using another man's social welfare card and claiming to be that man.

Cathal McGreal, defending, said that after his arrest, in July 2011, his client told gardai he would pay all the money.

Cocaine

Mr McGreal said Cawley, a father-of-four, owed money because of a previous cocaine addiction. He said he also had issues with alcohol addiction.

Judge Leonie Reynolds adjourned sentencing until next October and said that Cawley needed to make meaningful efforts to pay back the money due.

Det Garda Hayes said that after a report from the Department of Social Protection, gardai searched Cawley's home and found a social welfare card in the name of Thomas Mongan.

Cawley told gardai he had met Mr Mongan at a wedding. He said Mr Mongan said he was going to the UK and Cawley began using his card to sign on after that.

hnews@herald.ie