Family ordered back to NI to face charges

editorial image

A family from Crumlin has been ordered to return to Northern Ireland where they face charges of alleged fraud amounting to over £60,000 from a charity based in Lurgan.

Declan Shannon, his wife Nuala Theresa Magee formerly of Laurelvale in Crumlin and her son Niall Atkinson (24), have been told by judge Bernie Kelly sitting at Craigavon Magistrates Court last week that they all must return home to answer charges, before the preliminary enquiry takes place at the end of the month or face arrest.

The solicitor said that some of the family were ‘somewhere in south east Asia’ and told to return to Northern Ireland in which the judge claimed, “that is more than ample time to arrange flights.”

Magee, now of Ada Baker Street, Forde Australia Capital Territory faces a range of charges including 23 counts of false accounting, five of transferring criminal property and one of stealing a Sony laptop computer from the charity Together 4 All between October 2008 and June 2011.

The false accounting charges relate to the creation of alleged false invoices amounting to £50,541 - much of that reportedly paid to her husband Declan Shannon and her son Niall Atkinson or to DS Autoplex.

Shannon, is charged with three counts of possessing criminal property amounting to £10,837, while Atkinson is charged with a single offence of of possessing £3,600 of criminal property.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said the case which has been going on since last October should be dealt with ‘sooner rather than later.’

Together 4 All was set up in 2008 as an education inititave to help improve the behaviour of vulnerable children and young people. It received more than £5m from US Atlantis Philanthropies, a grant making body that supports improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people and £320,000 from the office of the First and Deputy First Minister.

Nuala Magee resigned in 2010 as Chief Executive after an internal investigation.