GAA swindler Jimmy Meagher lodges appeal over two-year prison sentence
• 1h ago
The Kilkenny minors hurling coach who conned his friend out of €41,000 has appealed his prison sentence. James ‘Jimmy’ Meagher, was convicted on March 22 of one count of fraud by deceiving his friend into transferring money for a non-existent sliotar business.
The friend, ‘John’, who has asked not to be identified by his real name due to some negative reactions he received for making a garda complaint, was working in Australia in 2019 when he agreed to fund Meagher’s supposed sliotar business.
Meagher (39), who last year helped coach All-Ireland Senior Club champions Ballyhale Shamrocks, told his friend he had a deal with GAA HQ in Croke Park to supply children’s Cúl Camps with sliotars made in Pakistan. John agreed to fund more and more purchases after being told by Meagher that he had clinched deals with a series of clubs and provincial councils to supply sliotars.
The swindle was only exposed when John returned home to Kilkenny and Meagher came up with a variety of excuses relating to his personal life and his separation from his wife to justify not returning John’s investment or profits.
Judge Elva Duffy took seven other offences into consideration when sentencing Meagher to two years in jail with the final 18 months suspended.
She agreed to suspend the beginning of the prison sentence until June 1 as Meagher, a trainee teacher, said he was studying in the University of Limerick.
Meagher, who pleaded guilty, lodged his sentence appeal on April 18. He was seen as a growing star in Kilkenny hurling coaching circles having been part of Mooncoin’s intermediate All-Ireland success in 2022 and Ballyhale’s senior win this year. Kilkenny GAA said that although Meagher was coaching its minor team he now has no involvement with it.
Before his conviction Meagher was praised by a number of senior Kilkenny hurlers on social media. He was photographed at last month’s Club Player of the Year awards in Croke Park while holding the Hurling Player of the Year trophy. The winner of the award, Ballyhale’s Joey Holden, was away travelling at the time.
The Sunday Independenthas been contacted by a number of other people who had bad experiences with Meagher. One of those is a Liverpool fan and friend of Meagher’s ex-wife who said he lost €600 to the coach.
The man, who asked not to be identified, said Meagher told him if he ever needed tickets for a Liverpool game he would “sort me out”.
He said he paid Meagher €600 for six tickets to see Liverpool take on Burnley in March 2019.
“I thought he was a great guy, full of fun and character. He said he had a contact for Liverpool tickets and to let him know if I needed any,” he said.
The man said Meagher promised to provide the six tickets on the week of the game but on the Friday before the match he said his contact “was in an accident”.
“Jimmy said this man was in a bad way,” the man recalled. “He said his wife was with him but he was in a coma. Honest to God, I fell for it hook, line and sinker. He said he would still try and get the tickets sorted and sent to Liverpool. We got on the plane and when we got there he said the wife is in a state and ‘I can’t do anything’.”
The man was able to buy six new tickets but at a cost of a further €600. He said Meagher promised to repay him but stopped communicating shortly after. It was only when he heard about other financial issues with Meagher that he realised he had been taken in.
“He was very well thought of in the GAA,” said the man, who said Meagher’s ex-wife knew nothing about what was going on. The man said he will not take his case to gardaí out of consideration for her, who he described as a “salt of the earth person”.
Meagher did not respond to requests for comment.