herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Priest accused of being a fake psychiatrist was reported to the gardai by Archbishop Martin

A DUBLIN priest is alleged to have falsely advertised himself in a national newspaper as a psychiatrist.

It is alleged Fr Anthony Egan (57) wanted to earn some money by treating patients but was reported to gardai by Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.

During a garda interview, Fr Egan said he had studied in Harvard University. However, there was no record of him having studied there.

A court heard that he was duped into paying €1,000 to complete a fraudulent degree in psychiatry from a fake university in an internet scam.

Gardai began an investigation after Dr Martin saw a newspaper advertisement and contacted them.

Dublin District Court was told that Fr Egan placed the ad because he wanted to build up his client base and earn some money.

The priest, of Botanic Road in Glasnevin, has denied that he, as an unregistered medical practitioner, falsely advertised his services, contrary to the Medical Practitioners Act 2007.

Defence solicitor Dara Robinson claimed the charge specifically relates to unregistered medical practitioners, which Fr Egan is not, and he cannot be guilty of an offence under the Act.

Judge Grainne Malone will make a decision on the case this week.

Garda Tara Dolan said she was contacted by Dr Martin about an advertisement in the Irish Times on January 26, 2011 in which Fr Egan advertised himself as a psychiatrist Dr Anthony Egan.

Garda Dolan said the ad contained Fr Egan's address, home phone number and a website address, and was paid for with his credit card.

The garda said she later visited Fr Egan's home and asked to see his qualifications. Garda Dolan said Fr Egan met her in Mountjoy Garda Station in April 2011 and produced several documents as proof of his qualifications.

She said she made queries and was not satisfied with the documents.

In a later interview, the garda said Fr Egan admitted he was not a registered doctor in this jurisdiction but claimed to have parallel qualifications and to have studied at the University of California, Berkeley and at colleges in London and Germany.

Garda Dolan said she checked with the Irish Medical Council and Fr Egan was not registered with them.

Gardai searched Fr Egan's house in June 2011. Numerous business cards were found claiming the defendant was Dr Egan, and he was a psychiatrist.

Also seized by gardai were a doctor's bag, a placard in the name of Dr Egan and headed notepaper. Mr Robinson said the defendant admitted he was not a doctor or a psychiatrist.

hnews@herald.ie

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