Will fraud doctor guilty of professional misconduct

March 7, 2016

A doctor who has previously been convicted of conspiring to falsify the will of a Forkhill pensioner, has been found guilty of two counts of professional misconduct by the Republic’s Medical Council.

Dr. Seamus Cassidy (64), who has a practice in Dundalk, pleaded guilty in 2014 to conspiring with others to attempt to alter the will of Catherine ‘Kitty’ Haughey between 2004 and 2007, and to fake a sale of property.   The 81-year-old spinster, who owned Larkin’s pub in Forkhill, left cash, land and property worth £1.5m on her death in 2004.

Suspicions were raised when Ms Haughey’s will was changed two weeks before her death.

Dr Cassidy was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for his part in the fraud.

On Thursday a Medical Council inquiry heard allegations that in 2009 Dr Cassidy had failed to notify the council on his application for registration that he had been convicted in a court of law.  He admitted his failure to declare that he had been convicted of drink driving in Northern Ireland.

The professional misconduct findings relate to the road traffic offence, but the inquiry also found against him regarding the will fraud conviction.

Representing Dr. Cassidy, Ken Connolly told the inquiry his client was deeply ashamed and remorseful, but acted under “duress” when he was purported to witness the signature of a will.

Dr Cassidy claimed he was intimidated by a patient – referred to as ‘Mr A’ – and the threat to himself and his family was “credible and real”.

A decision on any sanction will be made at a later date.