Healthcare worker admits money laundering

A healthcare worker has admitted money laundering offences at the Special Criminal Court after she was caught with over €600,000 in criminal cash.

Catherine Dawson, 44, from Betaghstown Wood, Bettystown, Co Meath, was arrested, while she had the money in two bags, by officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau at a supermarket car park in Co Louth last May.

She has no previous convictions and was remanded on continuing bail for sentencing in March. 

Her partner, Thomas Rooney, also appeared before the court today on similar charges and was also remanded on bail to be arraigned next month.

A heathcare worker, a community supervisor – who has Level 8 qualifications in dementia care – Dawson was arrested last May on suspicion of enhancing the ability of an organised crime gang to commit a serious offence. 

Today she pleaded guilty to two money laundering charges. 

She admitted possession of €289,770 and STG£62.025 (€70,207), which was found in one bag, and possession of another €254,840 in cash, found in another bag.

Both offences took place at the Spar supermarket on the Donore Road in Drogheda. The court heard the money was the proceeds of crime. The court was told that Dawson has no previous convictions and there was no objection to her remaining on bail.

Her defence counsel said she has no history of mental illness but has been on anti-depressants as a consequence of these events and asked for a psychological report.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt remanded her to appear again for sentencing in March.

Thomas Rooney, before the court today on similar charges, sought additional time before deciding how to plead.

The judge also remanded him on bail to appear again to be arraigned next month.