Men pay compensation following crime spree in Limerick

A MAN who was involved in causing damage at a number of premises in County Limerick will have the charges against him struck out once he has stayed out of trouble over the Christmas period.

A MAN who was involved in causing damage at a number of premises in County Limerick will have the charges against him struck out once he has stayed out of trouble over the Christmas period.

A second man involved in the same crime spree has been ordered by a judge to continue working with the probation services.

William Collopy, 24 of Tobernea, Kilmallock, and Daniel O’Gorman, 19 of Drewscourt East, Ballyagran were before Kilmallock court charged with unauthorised taking of an MPV at Ballinamuddy, Galbally on October 7, 2011; burglary full, at Norman’s Bar, Effin on October 5, 2011; unauthorised taking of an MPV at Ballyshonakin, Effin on July 13 2011; arson - property belonging to another at Boulinlisheen, Galbally on October 7, 2011, and burglary - full at Kilmihill, Kilmallock on October 17, 2011.

At a previous court sitting in September, Detective Garda Mike Reidy of Bruff garda station told the court that on October 7, 2011 an agricultural tractor was the subject of an unauthorised taking from Ballinamuddy, Galbally.

The court heard that the tractor was driven a distance of five or six miles to Anglesboro before it was crashed and abandoned on the side of the road at approximately 2.30am.

The court heard that on the same date, the defendants were driving around a rural area of Galbally when they happened upon a farm shed. Det Garda Reidy explained that the shed contained a number of bales of hay and straw.

“A number of bales were set on fire which resulted in some damage to the shed and to approximately 100 bales of hay which were in the shed at the time,” said Det Garda Reidy.

The court heard that on October 5, 2011 both men were driving around the Effin area at approximately 4.30am when they came across Norman’s Bar.

Det Garda Reidy explained that a decision was taken to break into the premises and the front door was opened using a nail bar.

A quantity of cash amounting to approximately €150 and a number of bottles of spirits valued at approximately €100 were stolen.

Det Garda Reidy further told the court that on July 13, 2011 the men were driving in the Effin area in the early hours of the morning when they came across an Opel Corsa and made several attempts to start it.

The car, the court heard, was eventually abandoned a short distance away.

On October 17, 2011 both men gained entry to an unoccupied cottage at Kilmihill, Kilmallock through a rear window. A television and a DVD player with a combined value of €300 were stolen during the incident.

Det Garda Reidy told the court that following their arrest, both men made full and frank admissions in relation to all matters and was “genuinely remorseful”.

“Both come from decent, hard-working family backgrounds,” continued Det Garda Reidy.

Solicitor for Collopy, Brendan Gill said that his client had raised €1,500 as a gesture of compensation.

At the court sitting it was agreed that €1,925 should be paid by each of the men.

Judge Mary Larkin remanded both men on continuing bail to appear before Kilmallock court on December 21.  Judge Larkin referred both men to the probation services and asked that a report be carried out to assess their attitude to drink. 

At the court hearing on December 21, Collopy’s solicitor Brendan Gill said his client had paid the compensation.

Mr Gill said his client had “cooperated very well” and had just completed his last days of an apprenticeship and is hoping to secure employment in the new year.

“He appears to have turned a corner and has cooperated very well. It is highly unlikely that he will be before the courts again,” said Mr Gill.

Judge Mary Larkin noted that these were “unusual” offences for someone from his background.

Judge Larkin said she would adjourn the case until the new year to ensure that there was no re-offending over the Christmas period.

Judge Larkin said that if the report from the probation services proved favourable then the matters would be struck out.

“He must be conscious of how he conducts himself between now and January,” said Judge Larkin.

“These were very, very serious offences,” she added.

The case was adjourned until January 18 next.

The same court sitting heard that the second defendant, Daniel O’Gorman, is willing to continue working with the probation services and with the assessment which was recommended for him. 

The court further heard that he had paid €800 in compensation prior to the court hearing and has more compensation to pay.

Judge Mary Larkin directed the assessment as recommended by the probation services and remanded O’Gorman on continuing bail until March 15 next.