A former bank manager on Tuesday admitted stealing around £120,000 from a Co Antrim GAA club when he was its treasurer.
Standing in the dock of Antrim Crown Court, 47-year-old Patrick Kane admitted three counts of committing fraud by abusing the position he held as treasurer with Ruairi Og GAC.
Kane, from Ardmoyle Park in Cushendall, also pleaded guilty to a charge of false accounting in that he “destroyed, defaced, concealed or falsified a certain account record or document, namely a Danske Bank statement for Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club, showing a balance of £75,896.10 which had been made or required for an accounting purpose”.
All of his offences were committed on various dates between September 1, 2009 and May 1, 2016.
Although the bank manager-turned-fraudster denied a further allegation of fraud by abuse of position, defence counsel Joe Brolly assured the court “there won’t be a trial in this case”.
“He has always accepted his guilt,” declared Mr Brolly.
The fraud charges Kane admitted are that he falsely claimed payments were made to suppliers in cash, that “funds arising from cheques made out by a benefactor to Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club were your own”, and that “cheques were being used to pay for legitimate costs associated with the running of the club whereas the cheques were being made out to cash”.
The one charge that Kane denied alleges that other cheques were made out to ‘A Kane’ and paid into his account.
One of the top hurling clubs in the county, Ruairi Og has won several Antrim and Ulster titles, and was beaten in the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final at Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day 2016.
Following Kane’s confessions on Tuesday, prosecuting counsel Mark Farrell told Judge Melody McReynolds that “there’s an agreed basis of plea”.
Mr Brolly revealed that, in total, Kane had stolen around £120,000, but that having sold the matrimonial home, he had already paid £113,500 back to the club where he had been treasurer.
He further revealed that Kane has resigned from his job as manager of a Bank of Ireland as a result of his fraud coming to light.
He added that “the club are not seeking any further restitution”.
Freeing Kane on bail pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report, Judge McReynolds said she would pass sentence on May 5.