Two brothers charged with not having authorisation to collect money for a city soup kitchen got their chance to do something for charity when ordered to pay €100 each at Galway District Court this week.
Martin McDonagh (23) and Michael McDonagh (18) both with an address at 2 Glenanail Park, Tuam Road, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy charged with acting as a collector while not in possession of a collector’s authorisation and failing to obey a garda directive to produce, there and then, the authorisation to act as a collector on September 17, 2012 at Williamsgate Street.
Inspector Ernie Whyte told the court that Sgt Brendan Moore approached the two defendants who told him that they were collecting money from passers-by for Twist Soup Kitchen. Sgt Moore made a demand for their permit to be produced, but, the document that the defendants produced was not a permit but was actually a certificate related to insurance for Twist.
Defence solicitor Sean Acton said that his clients were volunteers who believed that this document was authorisation. He added that the two brothers had never been in trouble before.
Inspector Whyte confirmed that the two defendants had no previous convictions. He then told Judge Fahy that Twist is “not registered as a charity”.
“They didn’t know they were doing anything wrong. They produced the authorisation they were given. They’re anxious to avoid a conviction, and since they were collecting for charity maybe they can be given the opportunity to do more for charity,” said Mr Acton.
“It’s not their fault if money is being collected for a charity that is not registered,” said Judge Fahy, who noted that there are cases where people are collecting money and putting it into their own pocket, but that this was not the case here.
Judge Fahy then adjourned the matter to December 19 for payment of €100 each to charity.