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Redline Festival

Tales from the Fraud Squad

Willie McGee in conversation with Seoirse Dunbar

L:Wille McGee R:Seoirse Dunbar
DateThursday October 13th
Time7:00 pm
VenueLucan Library
AdmissionFree - Booking essential

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Tales from the Fraud Squad  takes the reader on a journey from Willie McGee’s childhood in Mayo to the mean streets of Dublin as a fresh-faced officer in the late seventies, before rising through the ranks to become Head of the Garda Fraud Squad.
McGee recounts extraordinary stories of elaborate forgeries, outrageous insurance scams and intricate crimes – as well as explaining the ingenious manner in which officers amassed evidence and brought perpetrators to court. The former Superintendent writes fluidly and incisively, and tells his story with an open-hearted charm and warmth.

In over thirty years on the Force, McGee encountered all manner of crime, serious, cynical and, occasionally, almost comedic. McGee was at the centre of dozens of cases, from the nationally perilous case of the State being threatened with the release of Foot and Mouth, to the Nigerian con-man who ingested a $56 million dollar bank draft to destroy evidence, to the fraudster who actually forged Garda pay checks – and there was even one perpetrator who went as far as impersonating Willie to gain free entry and refreshments at the Galway Races!

Whether dealing with a common criminal or former Taoiseach Charles Haughey under the spotlight of a tribunal, McGee was unwavering in his quest for the truth. His work won national and international recognition, regularly working with the US Secret Service and other American federal agencies. After leaving the police force, he went on to lead the first specific fraud investigative unit for a national insurance company. As McGee succinctly puts it, ‘money is never free and those who were caught paid a severe price for thinking that it was’.

Willie McGee first made national headlines in 1967, scoring four goals in an All-Ireland under 21 football final for Mayo. He went on to play for the Mayo senior team for many years; he was awarded the Garda Sports award in 2014, and the Western People Hall of Fame award in 2017. Well known both inside and outside the Garda force for his involvement in fraud investigation, McGee was then recruited by AXA Insurance to help set up a special investigation unit in their fight again fraud in their industry, the first of its kind in Ireland. 

Seoirse Dunbar has always been an avid reader and he reads anything from murder mysteries to sci-fi to autobiographies. He loves travelling and getting to know people. He is curious by nature and loves exploring new cultures. He was planning on travelling to different countries in 2020 but Covid and Lockdowns put a stop to that. To try and help get through lockdown and help others in the same situation he invited authors, journalists, and actors to talk to him about themselves, their work and their passions and help them promote their work. And with that, the podcast Seoirse Speaks With was born!