Dublin man will take 19 years to repay unlawfully claimed illness benefits of €23k

Christopher McSweeney
Christopher McSweeney

A DUBLIN man has been spared jail for unlawfully claiming €23,000 in illness benefits.

Christopher McSweeney, 54, with an address at Father Scully House, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, was fined €500 by Judge John O'Neill at Dublin District Court. 

He had pleaded guilty in a prosecution brought by the Department of Social Protection. The offence, which is under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, can result in a fine of up to €2,500 and or a six-month sentence.

He admitted claiming illness benefit without mentioning he was working on dates between 2010 and 2014.

He has given about €1,000 back since the offence was detected. The court heard that at the current rate of repayment it will take 19 years until it has been fully repaid.

Judge John O'Neill was furnished with a probation report on McSweeney ahead of the hearing on Wednesday.

The social welfare authorities can continue to recoup money owed after a case has been finalised.