Updated: 24/11/16 : 11:49:10
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Mother received €15k Children's Allowance unlawfully while in Australia

A Dublin mother, who unlawfully received €15,000 children's allowance payments while she was working in Australia for three years, has been spared a criminal conviction.

Clodagh Logue (aged 42) with an address at Granville Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, had pleaded guilty in a prosecution brought by the Department of Social Protection.

The offence, which is under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, can result in a fine of up to €2,500 and or a six-month sentence.

Judge John O'Neill heard at Dublin District Court that she received €15,618 which she has recently completed paying back.

She had also complied with an order made earlier to donate €500 to Our Lady's Children’s Hospital Crumlin.

Judge O'Neill struck out the case.

She had been working for a computer company in Ireland but was moved by her employer to their operation in Sydney.

She was there for three years while she was still getting child benefit, the court was told.

Judge O'Neill heard that she has been working in Australia from July 2011 until August 2014.

Her solicitor told the court the money was paid into her account in Dublin and it was “out of sight, out of mind”.

She came back just once in the three years.

Her solicitor told the court that when she returned she engaged immediately with the Department of Social Protection.