No bail for book-keeper accused of €300k theft from Dublin legal firm.

No bail for book-keeper accused of €300k theft from Dublin legal firm.

A JUDGE has refused to grant bail to a former financial controller of a Dublin 4 law firm who is accused of stealing almost €300,000 from the company.

Mother-of-one, Donna Magee, 45, with an address at Hollyfield, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, was arrested last Friday by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI) following her extradition from Northern Ireland.

The book-keeper faces 29 counts of theft of varying sums of money amounting to €290,000 from the firm O'Mara Geraghty McCourt Solicitors which is based at Northumberland Road, in Ballsbridge, in Dublin 4. The offences are alleged to have occurred in 2008 and 2009 when she was employed as a financial controller at the company.

There was no bail application when she appeared at Dublin District Court last Friday and the case resumed yesterday (TUE).

Det Garda Sean O'Riordan of the GBFI objected to bail citing the seriousness of the case.

He told Judge Michael Walsh that Ms Magee had been in a "position of trust" in the company. He said she did not reside in this jurisdiction and had no ties here. He also said she was arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.

Det Garda O'Riordan agreed with counsel defending Maddie Grant that about €180,000 has been recovered.

The defence lawyer asked the court the note that it was a complex case but there was no suggestion Ms Magee would try to evade justice.

Counsel said Ms Magee had a child to care for and that she needed to attend regular medical appointments. The bail hearing was told that Ms Magee lived 25 miles from the border and would comply with any conditions set down by the court including signing on daily at Monaghan Garda station. She had previously lived in Dundalk with her ex-partner but later returned to her native Tyrone, the court was told.

She had £600stg which she could lodge and a relative had come to court offering to stand independent bail in the sum of €5,000.

However, refusing bail Judge Walsh noted she did not live in this jurisdiction and that when the alleged offences emerged she returned to Northern Ireland. She was remanded in custody to appear again next week.

The DPP has directed trial on indictment. This means the case will be dealt with at the higher level, in the circuit court, which on conviction can impose lengthier sentences.

She made no reply when charged with the offences and has not yet indicated how she will plead. Free legal aid was granted has been granted.