Meet Stephen Condon:A Former principal who escaped jail after stealing almost €100k from Limerick school

Stephen Condon

Stephen Condon a former Principal and father of three will be discussed. We will tell how he escaped jail after admitting to stealing more than €100,000 from his former school.

Who is Stephen Condon?

He is a 43 year old man and  the former headmaster of St John the Baptist National School, Garryowen.

Mr Condon is also a father of three. Mr. Stephen Condon who is from The Grange, Raheen in Limerick City admitted to the theft case.

He has been described as a former headmaster who administer the school in “spectacular breach of trust”.

His crime is that he stole closed to €100,000 from his former school’s accounts. What did he use this money for?

Shockingly, he used the money for gambling which he was said to have been addicted too.

However, the father of three escaped jail and was given “fully suspended 20 month jail sentence today, Friday”.

How was this theft by Stephen Condon discovered?

The school’s board became suspicious over the disappearance of money in 2016.

The board called for a full audit and that was how the theft was discovered.

It was at this point that he admitted to stealing the money  to satisfy his gambling addiction, which was said to have  “spiraled out of control”.

What were Stephen Condon charges?

He was charged with 109 counts of theft with with each count “carrying a maximum 10-year jail sentence”.

The former Principal pleaded guilty to 11 sample counts at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

Aside this amount, the 43 year old also  “stole the money from the school’s bank and credit union accounts in increments of between €400 and €2,000 between September 2012 and July 2016”.

The Judge,Tom O’Donnell wondered why  “a teacher who had risen through the ranks to become principal of St. John de Baptist” will  “abused his position as principal”.

He asked that Stephen Condon should  “resigned as Principal”.

Adding that:

“He left down the school he loved to teach at, as well as his colleagues, students and the whole community”.

Condon, who has been teaching in another school for the past four years, was arrested on January 1, 2021.

“It appeared the reason for the thefts was a severe gambling addiction, he had also used his family’s savings to feed the addiction; his marriage failed because of it, but following (marriage) counseling, it is back on track,” said the judge.

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“No one knew how chronic his addiction had become, and with the help of his family all of the money has been paid back to the school so there has been no financial loss.”

The judge said that a “long and insightful” report by the probation service highlighted how Condon’s gambling addiction had “completely spiraled out of control”.

Former school principal Stephen Condon

He was sparred jail as several testimonies described him as a “good” “decent” “dedicated family man” who had “admitted serious mistakes and serious breaches of trust”, and who had “taken steps to rehabilitate himself”.

He had also paid back all the money back to the school with the help of family members.

Giving reasons for his ruling, the judge said:“Unfortunately this court has seen the fallout from people’s addictions, whether it is drugs, alcohol or, in this case, gambling, which destroys their lives, and has catastrophic impact on the lives of those closest to them”.

The judge then sparred him the jail term by gave him a warning.

He asked him “to be of good behaviour for the next 20 months” failure of which he will face the possibility of having his suspended sentence activated.

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