A 71-year-old credit union officer took out loans in his son’s name in Castletownbere but when his son found out he came home from London and made a complaint to gardaí about his father’s crimes.
Detective Garda DJ O’Shea gave evidence of the activities of Matthew Heffernan of 5 Vereker Gardens, Ennis Road, Limerick, who pleaded guilty to six counts related to deception at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Matthew Heffernan left instructions at home: ‘If anyone is looking for Liam (his son) say they don’t know him and hang up.’
He also contacted his son to say that if anyone asked about the loans to tell him that he derived no benefit from them.
Matthew Heffernan had been obtaining loans from Berehaven credit union, Main Street, Castletownbere, on various dates between 2004 and 2009 by deception in the name of Liam Heffernan without his son’s knowledge.
Det Garda O’Shea said that when Liam Heffernan found out what was going on he returned home and went to Limerick garda station to make a complaint stating that his father, Matthew, had been obtaining loans in his (Liam’s) name without his knowledge.
The total amount of money obtained by deception was effectively €35,000, of which €16,000 was repaid.
Alan O’Dwyer defence barrister said the accused was determined to gather the balance of €19,000 and repay it in full.
Mr O’Dwyer said the defendant was in poor health but was managing to make repayments in the order of €1,000 per month.
Det. Garda O’Shea said the first loan obtained by Matthew Heffernan in his son’s name was for €99,000 but this was repaid. Further sums were obtained in the form of re-financing, the detective said.
Mr O’Dwyer said the accused co-operated fully with the investigation and made frank admissions.