A childcare worker has been jailed for stealing €80,000 from a charity-run crèche that helps single mothers return to work.
Avril O’Brien, of Raheen Crescent, Tallaght, Dublin, used the money to pay for family holidays, home renovations and expensive household appliances.
O’Brien was recruited by the director of Loreto playgroup, Sr Teresa McCullagh.
She was later appointed Office Manager, and - on dates between 2013 and 2016 - she used this role to steal from the state-funded creche.
She eventually admitted stealing a total of €80,000, which she used to pay for home renovations and holidays to Florida.
In a diary seized from her home, the court heard she wrote, “Dear Universe, please give me €1 million.”
Through her Victim Impact Statement, Sr McCullagh described how devastated and shocked she was when she found out what her friend was doing.
She said she felt it was a “total betrayal”.
O’Brien trembled in the dock today as Judge Martin Nolan sentenced her to three years in prison, with the final eighteen months suspended.