Three men from the Travelling community in Dublin were charged at Castlebar District Court this week for handling stolen goods.
Inspector Mick Murray outlined that on September 26 at 1.10am a call was received at Castlebar Garda station that there were men acting suspiciously near an ESB van parked in a residential estate.
Garda William Grant and Garda Georgina Gallagher drove to the vicinity of the reported sighting and observed a car leave the estate. The gardaí stopped the car and as they were suspicious of the occupants they searched the car. Tools to the value of €700 were in the car and the three men: Martin Casey, Bay Five, St Aidan’s Halting Site Tallaght; John McCarthy, 28 Swiftbrook Avenue, Tallaght; Daniel O’Connor, 41 The Paddock, High Field Estate, Kilcock, Kildare were arrested.
The tools were later identified by Mr Peter Corcoran, an ESB employee, that they were his.
Solicitor for the men, Ms Linda Lenehan, first apologised for the three defendants’ late appearance in court as they had set off from Dublin at 7.45am for a 10.30am appearance. Ms Lenhan said that McCarthy in fact purchased the tools for €200 while he was in Castlebar visiting the Travelling community. The reason the defendant purchased the tools was so that he could pick up some work as he is unemployed. The solicitor said that McCarthy in hindsight should have enquired where the tools were from. According to Ms Lenehan O’Connor came to Castlebar for a “spin in the car”, while Casey came “along for the ride” and both men thought that McCarthy purchased the tools.
The court heard how McCarthy (22 ) has previous convictions for theft and road traffic; O’Connor has convictions for theft, larceny and road traffic; and 18-year-old Casey has no previous convictions.
Judge Aeneas McCarthy sentenced O’Connor, in light of his previous convictions, to nine months in prison; McCarthy to eight months in prison; and imposed an eight month suspended sentence on Casey on the condition that he is on good behaviour and is bound to the peace for two years.
Recognisances were fixed.