A Dublin man who collected his mother's pension for more than 16 years after she died has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Brian Bobey, 64, from Walkinstown Parade in Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to fraudulently claiming almost €159,000.

The court was told Bobey began claiming his mother's pension after her death in May 1997 and stopped in October 2013, following an investigation by the Department of Social Welfare.

None of the wrongly claimed €158,726 has been repaid.

Today Judge Patricia Ryan refused an offer by Bobey to repay €50 a week after hearing it would take more than 60 years to repay at that rate.

At the sentence hearing last week, Judge Ryan was told that Bobey cooperated fully when a warrant was obtained to search his house.

He told gardaí he knew it was "in relation to my mam's pension".

He later identified himself on CCTV footage entering a post office to collect the money.

Gardaí said there was no evidence to suggest Bobey had been living "any sort of high life" from falsely claiming the pension.

Defence counsel Blaise O'Carroll said his client was extremely remorseful for his actions.

He said Bobey was on disability benefit since losing the sight in his right eye due to a tumour and had "a very difficult life overall".

He had cared for both parents who had been ill for some time before they died.

He has 15 previous convictions including one for drink driving but the majority were old convictions for minor offences.

The court was told he was willing to pay back €50 a week with help from his daughter.

However, prosecuting counsel Garrett McCormack said it would take around 63 years to pay back the sum at that rate.

Judge Ryan said she took into account the aggravating factors in the case which was the long period over which the crime was committed and the amount of money involved.

In mitigation was his guilty plea, admissions to gardaí, and the remorse shown.

However, Judge Ryan said a custodial sentence was warranted and she could not accept a proposal to pay back the sum at €50 a week. She imposed an 18-month prison sentence.