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Kildare councillor pleads guilty to fraudulently lodging €200,000 into his account from a housing agency

“This is a serious breach of trust and confidence,” the sitting judge said yesterday.

Naas courthouse (File photo)
Naas courthouse (File photo)
Image: Google Maps

A SERVING COUNTY Kildare politician appeared before Naas District Court yesterday pleading guilty to 28 charges of lodging up to €200,000 intended for a housing association into his own account.

Independent County Councillor Mark Dalton of White Castle Lawns, Athy, Co Kildare, appeared in connection with 28 separate charges of lodging money from Cill Urnaí Housing Association Ltd into his own account, at AIB Athy, from dates between 2009 and 2014.

Detective John Butler outlined at Naas District Court how Dalton is facing charges of putting up to €200,000 into his own account and forging third-party signatures.

The court heard Dalton was a director of the housing organisation, which owns and provides accommodation options. Its main role is to provide help for people who can’t afford their own homes.

During the hearing, Judge Desmond Zaidan said: “This is a serious breach of trust and confidence.”

Detective Butler explained that the accused had an addiction to gambling.

Dalton, who was a former Fianna Fáil councillor but is now a sitting Independent councillor for the Athy Municipal District, was granted free legal aid.

His solicitor Frank Taaffe said:

These are very serious charges with very serious consequences. From the outset, he has pleaded guilty.

No objection was made to the defendant’s application for bail.

Judge Zaidan ordered that be released on bail on his own bond of €5,000.

He has been ordered to appear before Naas Circuit Court on 19 June in relation to Section 4 of the Fraud Offences Act.

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Louise McCarthy

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