Wednesday 20 November 2019

Woman charged with deceiving three priests

Fr Noel Hartley
Fr Noel Hartley
Fr Noel Hartley

A woman alleged to have passed herself off as a social worker to persuade priests to part with money made a brief appearance at Wexford District Court on June 7.

Rebecca O'Leary (23) of 52 Castlerock, Carrigduff, Bunclody faced nine charges of obtaining money by deception from three priests in the Wexford area last year.

The total amount allegedly conned from Father Noel Hartley in June of 2015 came to more than €3,000, according to the charge sheets before Judge Gerard Haughton.

The prosecution suggested that Father Hartley was persuaded to part with seven sums ranging from €100 to €2,000 by Ms O'Leary's 'fabricated story of financial difficulties'.

In the case of Father Denis Lennon, according to a charge dating back to May/June last year, the priest was conned into handing over €300 as the defendant purported to be a social worker.

A similar scam was allegedly tried on Fr Diarmuid Desmond on September 6, 2015 at St Patrick's church in Rosslare Harbour in an effort to obtain cash.

The case was adjourned to September 5 for preparation of a book of evidence with a view to trial in the Circuit Court.

Judge Gerard Haughton granted free legal aid, assigning solicitor Peter Crean to the defence.

Wexford People