An Irish mail man stole over $3million from his employers as he fed a major gambling addiction with a turnover of over $14million.

Postman Tony O’Reilly has been sentenced to four years in jail after admitting the theft to feed his $50,000 a day betting habit.

Wexford Circuit Criminal Court heard that the 37-year-old from Carlow town owned an account with the Paddy Power bookmaker chain; the account had a turnover of over $14million.

The court heard that the theft only came to light when the Irish postal service An Post carried out a regional audit at Gorey Post Office in Wexford where O’Reilly was manager.

O’Reilly pleaded guilty to six counts of theft and six charges of falsifying An Post lodgement dockets for accounting purposes between December 2010 and June 2011.

Bets on his ‘Tony Ten’ account with Paddy Power Bookmakers included a $50,000 gamble on the Norwegian Ladies soccer team.

The court also heard that O’Reilly also backed the Iranian Under 23 football team and tennis ace Maria Sharapova.

Police discovered that the account had a turnover of $14million with $9million in winnings and almost $3million in losses.

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The Irish Sun reports that Detective Ian Hayes told the court that O’Reilly said the theft started at the post office by him sometimes taking a bag of coins from a larger bag which then was not checked.

The report says that if it was a bag of €2 coins he would replace it with a bag of 2c coins so as not to highlight the weight difference.

By the end of 2010, O’Reilly had taken over $350,000 from the post office.

The figure jumped to almost $3million by the end of 2011.Defence lawyer Patrick McCarthy said O’Reilly did not benefit at all from the money and still lives in a modest house.

Judge Pauline Codd said O’Reilly had ‘engaged in a serious breach of trust over a significant period of time and his theft was deliberate and systematic.’

O’Reilly, who disappeared for 11 days after the theft was discovered, was sentenced to four years in prison with the final year suspended subject to gambling addiction counselling.

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Tony O'ReillyRTE