Four men from Kildare all pleaded guilty at Ballina District Court this week to the theft of €1,000 worth of copper wire from the eircom yard in Ballina.
In the early hours of Monday March 21 2011, gardaí noticed four men act suspiciously beside a van on James Connolly Street, Ballina. These men, Declan Coyle, 3092 Hillview, Sallins, Co Kildare, David Dawson, 2228 St Patrick’s Park, Kill, Co Kildare, Martin Maher, 19 Castlefen, Sallins, Naas, Co Kildare, and Shane McGarr, 113 Old Cara Court, Naas, Co Kildare, told gardaí that their van had a flat tyre. The back of the van was then opened where there was copper wire present. Gardaí noticed eircom stickers on the wire.
Coyle and Dawson admitted that the wire came from eircom, Kevin Barry Street, which they had loaded into the van. These men identified McGarr and Maher as the men who entered the eircom yard.
Judge Devins asked the men what the purpose of their trip to Mayo was as it is not the sort of trip that you would hop into the car and “go for a jaunt”. The judge asked if they “called into any other towns on your way?” Initially the men told gardaí that they were in Mayo to visit a friend. In court Dawson said that “through desperation” he “came down here” to get money to pay maintenance.
Coyle (29 ), Dawson (42 ), and McGarr have previous convictions. Maher has no previous convictions.
McGarr, who has a suspended sentence from Naas District Court, was remanded back to that court on April 20, in order for the judge to deal with the suspension.
The remaining three men were remanded on continuing bail to May 24 for a community service assessment report. If found suitable Dawson would be sentenced to 200 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison. If Maher is found suitable he would be sentenced to 100 hours community service in lieu of three months in prison, and Coyle, if found suitable, would complete 200 hours of community service in lieu of six months.
The men are to also stay away from Mayo until their next court appearance.