Case against woman accused of unlawfully claiming €28k while married is struck out

Geraldine McGillivary leaving the Four Courts in Dublin
Geraldine McGillivary leaving the Four Courts in Dublin

A JUDGE has struck out the case of a 55-year-old Dublin woman accused of claiming almost €28,000 in one parent family payments after she got married.

Geraldine McGillivary, of Macroom Road, Bonnybrook, Coolock was prosecuted by the Department of Social Protection for concealing the fact that she had got married in 2007 and continued claiming the payment until 2010.

Judge John O'Neill heard at Dublin District Court that she received €27,864. She is currently getting a widow's pension and has made repayments worth €2,600. 

Judge O'Neill heard had heard she was paying €20 a week and at that rate it will take more than 20 years to clear the amount allegedly owed to the social welfare office.

Earlier this year, he had refused jurisdiction for the case to be dealt with at district court level meaning the case would have to go circuit court, which can impose lengthier sentences. 

The case was listed today for her to be served with a book of evidence.

However, a solicitor for the DPP explained that it was not ready as queries have been raised with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice, and information about a marriage from outside the State was awaited.

Judge O'Neill noted that the prosecution had been twice, in September and October, given more time to have the book of evidence ready. The woman's solicitor said the case has been "dragging on" and very stressful for the defendant. 

The judge acceded to a request from the defence to strike out the case.