Galway Cllr to appeal fraud conviction

Wednesday 21 March 2007 22.46
Michael Fahy - To appeal conviction
Michael Fahy - To appeal conviction

Galway County Councillor Michael Fahy, who was given a one-year jail sentence and fined €75,000 for the misappropriation of county council funds, is to appeal the conviction.

His solicitor, Coleman Sherry, told RTÉ News that the Circuit Court decision will be appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

He said he could make no further comment on the case or the appeal at this stage.

Fahy was convicted in the Circuit Criminal Court in Galway on seven counts of fraud, attempted theft, deception and false accounting following a garda inquiry into the erection of council funded fencing on his farm in 2002 and 2003.

He denied all the charges. Fahy told RTÉ News he would be making no comment on the court ruling.

So far it is not clear whether Galway County Council will move to have him debarred from holding his seat.

Fahy was elected a Fianna Fáil member of the council but now sits as an Independent.

Earlier, Senator Michael Kitt of Fianna Fáil said people in the Ardrahan area of Co Galway were taken aback by the jail sentence imposed.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, Senator Kitt said the people in Cllr Fahy's area were shocked by the jail term imposed on him given that he had paid back some of the money along with a fine and he had no previous conviction.

Mr Kitt also said that it was easy for people to call for Cllr Fahy to be removed from the county council but that would not be fair if there was a legal route which Cllr Fahy's legal team wished to pursue.