Inishowen man gets community service for €64,000 benefit fraud

February 27, 2021

An Inishowen man who defrauded the Department of Social Protection of thousands of euro in benefits was given 180 hours of community service.

Denis Gillespie of Cloontagh, Clonmany was before Carndonagh District Court charged with failing to declare a property he owned and making a false claim.

The department had calculated there was an overpayment of €117,000 to the defendant, however, that was reduced to €64,000 on appeal.

Defending solicitor, Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn, told Judge Paul Kelly his client was making ‘substantial repayments’ to the department in relation to the over claim.

He explained that Gillespie had inherited his mother-in-law’s house and failed to declare it.

However, he added, he did not use the house or rent it out for financial gain.

Judge Kelly ordered Gillespie to carry out 180 hours Community Service in lieu of six months in prison.

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