A Galway man who stole two purses from a back office of a shop on Christmas Eve was handed a 12 month prison sentence with the last three months suspended in Castlebar District Court on Tuesday this week. Martin McDonagh, of 64 Corrib Park, Newcastle, Co Galway pleaded guilty to the charges in court. The court was told that McDonagh went into the back room of Daly’s Newsagent at the Tesco shopping centre in Claremorris on December 24 2011 at 2.35pm and stole two purses from two handbags from the room. The gardai were called and Garda Brandley attended the scene and was shown CCTV footage which clearly showed McDonagh taking the purses from the handbags and putting them inside his trousers and making his exit from the shop.
McDonagh was arrested on March 6 2012, after Detective Garda Pauline Golden identified McDonagh after she was shown the CCTV footage by Garda Brandley.
The court was told that McDonagh had 149 previous convictions most of them were for driving offences, McDonagh took the stand and told the court that he had been drinking for a few days and was out of his mind and not thinking right. He told the court he had a drinking problem and was getting it under control again since this incident.
Judge Mary Devins asked had he every had the benefit of the probation service in the past, to which McDonagh told the court under oath he did not. Judge Devins put the case back to second calling to see if this was true. When the case came back up, probation officer Miriam Tallon told the court that from her investigations with the Galway office he had been assessed by the probation service in 2009 and ordered to carry out 240 hours community service, which he failed to do. Judge Mary Devins then convicted and fined McDonagh, €500 and sentenced him to 12 months in prison with the last three suspended. She also fixed recognisance in lieu of an appeal.