Employee charged with theft of almost €20,000 in Lotto tickets from Killarney service station

A former employee at a Killarney service station has been charged with the theft of Lotto tickets to the value of almost €20,000 over a three-year period.

28-year-old Tara Egan of 37 Arbutus Grove, Killarney appeared before Tralee Circuit Criminal Court today charged with 17 counts of the theft of the property of Billy Doyle at the now closed Doyle’s Top, Muckross Road, Killarney on various dates between August 2011 and August 2014.

Detective Garda William Stack of Killarney Garda Station told prosecuting barrister for the State Tom Rice the accused had been a shop assistant at Doyle’s Top on Muckross Road, Killarney for almost eight years.

In the course of her employment she became romantically involved with Peter Doyle, the son of owner Billy Doyle.

They began living together and had a child but the relationship ended in August 2014; Ms Egan left employment with Doyle’s Top in September 2014.

Detective Garda Stack said Peter Doyle found a number of 5-4-3-2-1 Lotto tickets stuffed in a drawer in the house he had shared with Ms Egan. Gardai were notified and conducted a search on October 8th, 2014.

The value of the discarded tickets found at the premises was estimated at €19,492.

Detective Garda Stack said the accused made admissions she had played Lotto in the store and had ‘forgotten to pay’.

Detective Garda Stack also read the victim impact statement of owner Billy Doyle who said Ms Egan had ‘stolen their lives’.

The statement went on to say the shop and service station ceased trading in May 2015 and the family was ‘still living with the consequences’ of the actions of the accused.

Defence barrister Katie O’Connell said Ms Egan was unhappy in her relationship at the time and to some degree ‘had become addicted’ to playing Lotto.

She said her client accepted full responsibility and apologised to the Doyle family.

Judge Thomas O’Donnell said the case was unusual and required ‘deep consideration’.

He remanded the matter to the April 3rd sitting of Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.