Former council cathaoirleach charged with theft from mental health charity

A 42-year-old man who is a former county council cathaoirleach appeared at Trim District Court charged with the alleged theft of €172,000 from a Meath charity.

Sean McKiernan with an address at Trinity Bungalow, Virginia Road, Cavan was charged with 58 counts of theft from the Navan Mental Health Association. The court was told that a total of €172,130 at unknown locations from the Navan Mental Health Housing Association on various dates in 2019.

Garda Sean Patterson gave evidence of the arrest of the accused who was remanded on conditional bail by Judge Cormac Dunne to the same court on March 21 next for preparation of a book of evidence.

A Fine Gael councillor for Bailieborough electoral area from 2007-2014, Sean McKiernan made history in 2011 when at age 29 he was elected as the youngest ever chairman, or Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council. He was returned unopposed to the position.

In 2019 he left his natural electoral hunting ground of Bailieborough and sought a seat in Cavan-Belturbet electoral area with disappointing results as he was the first of the candidates to be eliminated.

He was also a member of Cavan/Monaghan ETB and served a term as its cathaoirleach.

In 2019 the Celt described Mr McKiernan as a self-employed communications and HR consultant who formerly worked as a development officer for Mental Health Ireland. He has experience as a voluntary board member in the areas of mental health, childcare and social housing provision.

On his social media account Mr McKiernan describes himself as a media/communications consultant; independent interview chair and interview trainer; and also a trained mediator.


This article was updated on 08/02/24 at 11am. The charity in question was originally reported as Navan Mental Health Association. The correct name of the organisation involved is Navan Mental Health Housing Association.