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Man lifted dead friend's pension for 23 years

An elderly man in the Republic of Ireland who fraudulently claimed almost €140,000 of a dead acquaintance's pension for 23 years is to reimburse the State €40 a week.

Patrick McLoughlin (66), of Ballyfermot Drive, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 10 sample charges.

They included forging pension vouchers and theft at Upper Ballyfermot Post Office on dates between September 21, 1984 and June 1, 2007. McLoughlin had no previous convictions.

The fraud was discovered after a member of social welfare staff called to the registered home of Gerry Donnelly in order to organise the "presidential centenarian bounty payment" to the dead man, whose 100th birthday would have been in April 2007.

He learnt that the current owner had bought the house in 1989. A death certificate later showed that Mr Donnelly had died on September 17, 1984.

McLoughlin was arrested in June 2007 after gardai viewed CCTV footage of him collecting Mr Donnelly's pension at his local post office.

McLoughlin was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth seven years ago and is also the primary carer of his seriously ill wife.

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