Northern Ireland news

Former Ruairí Óg GAA club treasurer facing fraud charges

Former Cushendall treasurer Patrick Kane

A MAN has appeared in court charged with fraud by abuse of position at one of the top GAA clubs in County Antrim - the Ruairí Óg club in Cushendall.

Patrick Kane (47), with an address at Ardmoyle Park in Cushendall, was in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday.

He faces five charges - four of fraud by abuse of position and one of false accounting.

The four fraud charges relate to dates between September 1, 2009 and May 1, 2016.

The club has won several Antrim and Ulster hurling titles and on St Patrick's Day, 2016, they lost out in the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Final at Croke Park.

The first fraud charge alleges that between September 1, 2009 and May 1, 2016, the former club treasurer 'falsely represented that payments were made to suppliers in cash ...'

The second charge is that between February 14, 2012 and December 12, 2015, Mr Kane 'falsely represented that funds arising from cheques made out by a benefactor to Ruairi Og Gaelic Athletic Club were your own funds or were funds raised as a result of activities of the club...'

The third charge alleges that between May 9, 2012 and July 19, 2013, Mr Kane 'falsely represented 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 fourth charge is that between October 17, 2012 and July 26, 2013, Mr Kane 'falsely represented 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 ''A Kane'' and being lodged into a bank account held jointly with your wife ...'

The details of the false accounting charge are that on a date unknown between December 5 and December 8, 2015, Mr Kane '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'.

The defendant was present in court for a Preliminary Enquiry - the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court.

A prosecutor submitted that on the basis of the papers before the court there was a case to answer.

A defence solicitor said he had no contrary submissions.

No further details surrounding the allegations were given to the court.

The defendant had the case sent to Antrim Crown Court in mid-February and was given £500 bail.

The defence lawyer said the defendant is "self employed".

Sending the matter to the Crown Court, District Judge Peter King said they were "very significant allegations".

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