Northern Ireland

A former Derry GAA star admits stealing over £500,000

Antrim courthouse
Image caption McGurk pleaded guilty to the charges at Antrim Crown Court

A former Derry GAA star has pleaded guilty to stealing over £500,000 from a road construction firm.

John Malachy "Johnny" McGurk,from Drummuck Road, Maghera, stole £572,206 from Patrick Bradley Ltd.

The accountant also admitted 36 other charges involving fraud by abuse of his position of trust from July 2006 until the end of 2011.

McGurk, 50, was part of the Derry team that won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1993.

Image copyright Inpho
Image caption Johnny McGurk won an All-Ireland football championship with Derry in 1993

Remanding him on continuing bail until next month, the judge at Antrim Crown Court said it was important for McGurk to co-operate fully with probation and explain fully how his offending came about because of a "terrible addiction to gambling".

He said McGurk stood the risk of a custodial sentence.

McGurk, who also helped his local Lavey team lift the 1991 GAA All-Ireland club title, lodged the stolen monies, in the form of cheques drawn on company accounts to his own Bank of Ireland savings account.