A man has been found guilty of the deception of Ireland’s oldest drover, 95-year-old Eugene O’Sullivan from Kenmare, after he led Mr O’Sullivan to believe the banks were not safe to hold his money.
Patrick Hurley (73) of Carhugarrife, Leap, Cork, was charged with two counts of theft of €20,000 and €50,000 from Eugene O’Sullivan; and two counts of deceiving Mr O’Sullivan out of the cash in December 2016 and March 2017.
The jury found Mr Hurley not guilty of theft but found him guilty on two counts of deceiving Mr O’Sullivan. Mr Hurley is to be sentenced this Friday at Tralee Circuit Court, sitting in Limerick. The trial last week heard from Bank of Ireland officials who were concerned when, ‘out of nowhere’, a customer in his 90s asked for a ‘ball of cash’ from his accounts.
The court was told Eugene O’Sullivan twice sought large sums of money in cash from the bank, but he was refused and was advised to get a solicitor. The court heard that the request to withdraw such large amounts was very unusual, and queries had been made to see if Mr O’Sullivan was under duress.
Following letters from Pat Farrelly of O’Mahony, Farrelly O’Callaghan solicitors, Bantry, Bank of Ireland released €20,000 and €50,000 in cash to Mr O’Sullivan, who came to his bank with a solicitor and a third man who drove him. Mr O’Sullivan told the court that a man had told him the banks were closing and his money would be gone. He said the man also told him he couldn’t get the money back.
Mr Farrelly gave evidence and said he believed Mr O’Sullivan was able to manage his own affairs. He said Mr O’Sullivan had come to him with a very ‘unusual’ request and told him he had ‘loads of money’ but the bank wouldn’t give it to him. Mr O’Sullivan was accompanied by Mr Hurley, and he said he was happy for him to accompany him.