herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Lawyer stole €175k from estate of popular GAA ref

THIS IS the first picture of the late GAA referee whose fortune was stolen by rogue solicitor David O'Shea.

Johnny Price's family spoke of their "devastation" after the crook was handed a four-year jail sentence, with six months suspended, for stealing more than €750,000 from clients.

The former solicitor, who a court heard was allegedly under threat from infamous lawyer Giovanni di Stefano, spent six years defrauding individuals and families like the Prices.

He had been hired by popular Wicklow referee Johnny Price to look after his probate when he died in 2005.

But despite "huge trust" being shown in him by Johnny and his wife Christine, O'Shea stole a staggering 21 cheques made out to family members, to the tune of €175,000.

Dublin Circuit Court handed down the rogue solicitor a three-and-a-half year sentence after he was convicted of 26 counts of fraudulently taking money.



trust

Christine Price said the family was "devastated" by the length of the sentence, adding that Johnny and the family had shown "huge trust" in O'Shea.

"Everyone thought he was a great solicitor. Johnny would have trusted him. But he betrayed our trust and Johnny's especially," she said.

"It's just been an awful ordeal. We're devastated by the length of the sentence, he'll probably be out in less [than three-and-a-half years]."

The Prices are extremely well known among GAA circles in Wicklow, where Johnny served as a referee for 30 years.

His funeral in 2005 was "massive" according to his widow, who continues to run Price's Garage in Roundwood with her son David.

The court heard that O'Shea (44), from Parkmore Drive, Terenure, stole over €450,000 from clients to buy cars and pay his credit card bill.

He stole over €450,000 from clients' accounts to buy cars, pay his credit card, pay for property transactions, pay a horse trainer and to give to other people.

hnews@herald.ie

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