A 47-year-old woman who stole €760,000 from her employer has pleaded guilty to 20 sample counts of theft at Donegal Circuit Court.Tara Sweeney, with an address at the Glebe in Donegal Town, spent most of the money on high-end fashion goods purchased online. The thefts occurred at the County Donegal Education Centre over a six year period.Sentencing in the case was today has been put back until next March.The court was told that Tara Sweeney was an accounts administrator at the Donegal Education Centre from 2009 until 2015.RTE reports that she had no formal qualifications but was solely responsible for payroll and had full access to seven bank accounts.It was only in June 2015 when a new director was apppointed to the company that suspicions were raised about large amounts of money missing.Tara Sweeney resigned from her job and Gardaí carried out a search of her home. They discovered ten black refuse bags filled with documentation from her workplace.An expenditure analysis by a specialist accounting firm showed electronic credit transfers totalling over €760,000 going into accounts in her name.The court heard the balances in those accounts were moderate given the level of substantial withdrawals.Detective Garda Ciaran O’Brien told the court that the bulk of money was spent on high end fashion goods including designer handbags by Gucci and Prada, cosmetics, sunglasses, clothes, shoes, perfume and jewellery.The court heard that thousands of items were left in bags and boxes unused once they had been purchased.When interviewed by Gardaí, she admitted that she had made all of these purchases but couldn’t remember individual transactions.The court heard she was shocked at the figure of €760,000 thinking it was more in the region of €250,000. This amount she accepted, was also bad.Giving evidence in court, she said she found it difficult to explain her online shopping addiction other than to say she did it to make herself feel better.She had been under a lot stress in the workplace, had lost her mother and was bringing up her son alone.Tara Sweeney apologised to her family and former co-workers for the pain and distress she had caused.A psychiatric report described her as a loner who had suffered depression in the past but she showed no signs of mental illness and had accepted full responsibility for her actions.Peter Nolan, barrister for Tara Sweeney, said she had indulged in behaviour that was the ruination of her life.He said she had been chasing an illusion whereby purchasing thousands of luxury goods would sort out her life.He said Ms Sweeney was now unemployed and facing repossession of her house.He asked Judge John Aylmer not to send her to prison saying she had engaged in criminal activity but was not a “typical criminal”. Tara Sweeney had no previous convictions.The Judge deferred sentencing until next March.The County Donegal Education Centre have issued proceedings in an effort to recover some of the monies lost.Woman stole €760K and blew it on high-end fashion was last modified: December 19th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegalFashionTara Sweeneytheft
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The Magnificent Fridays drive will rally South Africans to support national sports teams. Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged South Africans to wear national team replica jerseys every Friday. Members of the national netball team that will play in Singapore in July. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Mack Lewele Communication Arts and Culture +27 12 441 3083 or +27 82 450 5076 RELATED ARTICLES • New campaign to power SA’s Proteas • Proteas pick top World Cup squad • From Football Fridays to Fly the Flag Fridays • Flying the South African flagBongani NkosiThe frenzy that gripped South Africa before and during the Fifa World Cup in 2010 is set to make a comeback, this time spurring other national sports teams to excel in international competitions.Magnificent Fridays is a new campaign initiated by the government to get South Africans behind cricket, netball and rugby national teams – all of which will all do battle in respective world cups during 2011.The campaign is built on the concept of Football Fridays, a highly successful drive that got South Africans rallying behind Bafana Bafana, the national football team, and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.The country was awash with yellow and green at the end of every working week leading up to the tournament as South Africans donned Bafana replica gear and flew the national flag with pride. And the same spirit is to grip the land again.This time citizens are urged to wear official replica clothing of any of the national teams, but especially of the Springboks rugby team, the Proteas cricket squad and the netball team, also nicknamed the Proteas. Wearing the now-famous Bafana gear is also encouraged, and hoisting the national flag tops it all.“Magnificent Fridays is about showing support for all our national teams,” said Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula. “The campaign will continue throughout the year.”Mbalula and Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile are helping spread the hype across the country. The departments launched Magnificent Fridays in Johannesburg recently, and kicked off the actual road show at the city’s Park Station on 28 January.Thousands of South African flags will be handed out along the way as the road show delivers the spirit of the campaign to outlying communities. The next stop is the Free State province, and then the Western Cape, followed by stops in all the remaining provinces and then the major cities.“We’ll go all over South Africa. This is not a Gauteng campaign,” said Mashatile.Cricket squad heading to AsiaThe Proteas will be the first of the three national teams to seek international pride in 2011 when they travel to south Asia in February. They will take on other 14 nations in the 2011 International Cricket Council World Cup to be staged in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.The team is in the final stages of preparation for the tournament and is in good spirits following recent victory in the highly contested one day international series challenge against India. Magnificent Fridays will augment the Pure Protea drive, which was initiated by Lead SA specifically for the national cricket squad.Support for the team is mounting ahead of the world cup, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said, and Proteas replica attire is proving to be very popular.“There is a big interest in the Proteas world cup replica jersey,” said CSA brand and corporate relations manager Kass Naidoo. “Traffic to the online store has increased and merchandise at retail stores has been selling well.“Everyone is keen to show they are 100% behind the Proteas,” Naidoo added.The already-named world cup squad blends the talents of the country’s 15 top cricket stars.Rugby and netball to followThe Springboks, as the reigning Rugby World Cup champions, will set out to defend their title in New Zealand in September.Pinned against Fiji, Namibia, Samoa and Wales in Pool D, the Springboks will face challenging, but surmountable competition in the group stages. The team has proven its mettle many times and should also be able to rise up against stronger teams like New Zealand and Australia in the knockout stages.It should come as a confidence boost that Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson, the Boks pair recently accused of doping, were cleared of any wrongdoing on 28 January. They can now return to the international field to help the team prepare for their world cup.The Springboks’ victory in 2007 was a major highlight that South Africans celebrated with vim and vigour for days, as was the country’s historical win in 1995.The senior netball team will travel to Singapore for the world championships in July, and is currently training hard.Netball South Africa announced on 24 January that four coaches had been appointed to help the players prepare for the tournament, following the resignations of coach Carin Strauss and assistant coach Cecilia Molokwane earlier in the month.South Africans have also been urged to travel with the teams to support them at the playing venues. “Those who can go to these competitions should go,” Mashatile said.
14 February 2013The Parliamentary Precinct in Cape Town’s city centre is abuzz with activity ahead of South African President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.The President is expected to outline government’s priorities for the year and officially open Parliament at 7pm on Thursday.The address will be broadcast live on radio and television as well as streamed live on www.parliament.gov.za.Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) has arranged for the address to be broadcast on big screens at a variety of venues in all provinces.Security is being beefed up and media are setting up their booths from where they will broadcast interviews, while parliamentary staff are ensuring the final preparations are wrapped up and that the National Assembly is perfect.The red carpet and platform leading up the National Assembly, where dignitaries will show off their fashion, is being allotted and large screens are being tested.Focus on National Development PlanThe South African Air Force on Tuesday practised the flyover above Parliament, which is scheduled to happen as the President arrives at the steps of the National Assembly.There will also be a national salute by the Ceremonial Guard of the South African National Defence Force and a 21-gun salute.Special State of the Nation Address banners have been erected along the precinct’s roads, many of which will be closed to traffic later today and tomorrow.Some of the invited guests include the country’s top matriculants from last year, businesspeople, diplomats, former President Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele, former Deputy Presidents Baleka Mbete and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former President FW de Klerk and Elita de Klerk, former Chief Justice Pius Langa and former Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Frene Ginwala.In his address, Zuma is not only expected to focus on the National Development Plan, but he will also provide an update on all key programmatic areas, especially the five priorities – education, health, creating decent work, the fight against crime as well as rural development and land reform.He will also outline progress made in the implementation of the New Growth Path, the economic strategy within the NDP.The Presidency has invited members of the public to send their comments on what they would like to see in Zuma’s speech on Facebook at www.facebook.com/presidencyza/ and twitter at @PresidencyZA.Source: SANews.gov.za