8 October 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A 35-YEAR-OLD man who admitted trying to defraud the Department of Agriculture into paying him almost €32,000 in grants for a shed built on his lands — by submitting totally fabricated or altered invoices from contractors and suppliers, amounting to over €60,000 in total — was given a 10-month prison sentence at Monaghan District Court on Monday last.

Michael McGinnity of 91 Fergort Road, Derrynoose, Keady, Co Armagh pleaded guilty to two charges of using a false instrument at the office of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at The Plantation, Monaghan Town on dates between 1st December 2006 and 1st December 2010.

Garda Inspector Pat O’Connell said Mr McGinnity had applied for a grant to construct a shed in 2006, and purchased ancillary equipment for his farm at Doosky, Monaghan (near Clontibret).

He carried out this work, and then began to submit invoices to the Department of Agriculture in Monaghan to claim a grant for their completion. An official from the department had been processing the grant, and had informed Mr McGinnity that invoices signed by the contractors and suppliers involved in the work should be submitted.

A number of invoices were submitted, but it was noted that one of them was not signed by a representative of the company concerned. This company had subsequently informed the Department of Agriculture that the invoice in question had in fact been altered to recorder a larger amount than had actually been charged.

The department official who was processing the grant claims reported the matter to gardai in Monaghan and an investigation was initiated, the inspector explained.


During the course of this investigation, gardai began to check the rest of the invoices submitted by Mr McGinnity, and it was discovered that they were all either false or altered.

Inspector O’Connell said Mr McGinnity had present …


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