An 18-year-old from Tallaght has admitted taking part in a burglary at a well-known pub in Donegal town.
Daniel Donoghue of 9 Cloonmore Park, Tallaght appeared before Judge Kevin Kilrane at Ballyshannon District Court on Friday. He was charged with theft from MJ’s Bar, Main Street, Donegal town on May 2, 2010.
Garda Supt. Jimmy Coen told the court that, at 11.20 on the date in question, a Sunday, the defendant entered the premises in the company of an older person, who had since been convicted in relation to to the incident. A substantial quantity of cash - n2,500 from the till and float and n850 from a glass on the bar which was the staff’s holiday fund – was taken. The incident was captured on CCTV.
Garda John Sweeney subsequently stopped a silver VW Golf with five occupants at Dunkineely. The defendant gave incorrect details, as did his accomplice. Garda Sweeney viewed the CCTV footage and was able to identify both the defendant and his older accomplice. Nearly n1,600 was recovered from the latter, who admitted the theft.
Although Donoghue was interviewed twice, he did not admit his involvement. However, from the CCTV evidence, “it was very clear he was both outside and inside the premises,” Supt. Coen explained.
He said that the defendant had a number of previous convictions for offences including theft, burglary, drink driving, driving without insurance and possession of a firearm.
Defence solicitor Gerry McGovern appealed for leniency. “My client was 17 years old at the time of the offence. It’s clear from reading the statements that there were a lot of other men with this young man who were much more senior. It’s quite clear he’s under the influence of the men and, from the CCTV evidence, that he was under the influence of alcohol.
“He finds himself in prison now and will be for a long time. Hopefully he will have time to reflect on his actions.”
Judge Kilrane said: “He is a hardened criminal regardless of his age, one of those urban raiders who are the scourge of rural areas. This kind of thing has to be stamped out.” He sentened Donoghue to 8 months detention in St. Patrick’s Insitution for Young Offenders.