Former clerical officer got over €20,000 in return for confidential information

A former clerical officer at the Department of Social Protection in Letterkenny received more than €20,000 in return for confidential information on social welfare recipients.

50 year old Rory Lenihan of Ballaghderg, Letterkenny pleaded guilty to 12 sample charges of stealing information from social welfare recipients and selling them to two private investigators.

Letterkenny Circuit Court was told this information inlcuded the location of those involved as well as their loans, etc and was then passed to various banks and solicitor's offices.

The offences took place between January 2008 and October 2010.

Senior Counsel, Alex Owens, representing the DPP, said in total, Mr Lenihan was accused of 41 charges amounting to a total theft of €21,898.

The court heard that in September 2010, his supervisor became suspicious of his behaviour during break times and an internal investigation was launched which included the checking of files as well as cross-referencing his call log.

When Mr Lenihan was approached by his supervisors, he admitted he was passing on information for a return of money.

He was paid €23 for information on each person, paid in a lump sum into his account, from two private investigators, John Buckley, of Navan Road, Dublin and Brian Foy with a business address in Leixlip.

The case has been adjourned until Friday for sentencing.