Drunken Limerick post office robber left his loot behind

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A WOULD-BE robber was so drunk when attempting to hold up Ardnacrusha Post Office that he left a bag containing €1,000 in cash behind him, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

A WOULD-BE robber was so drunk when attempting to hold up Ardnacrusha Post Office that he left a bag containing €1,000 in cash behind him, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

Alan O’Callaghan, 29, of Pineview Gardens, Moyross, had held up a female member of staff with a concealed “barrel-shaped object” that turned out to be a tent pole. In the course of what his solicitor Darach McCarthy described as “a farcical endeavour”, Mr O’Callaghan had arrived at the rural post office in his own car and made no attempt to mask his identity.

Mr O’Callaghan was appealing the severity of a nine-month sentence for attempted robbery imposed at Limerick District Court following the incident on July 20, 2011.

State solicitor Michael Murray said that Mr O’Callaghan had demanded that the staff member fill the bag with cash but this fell to the ground and Mr O’Callaghan fled the scene empty-handed.

“He couldn’t remember having committed the robbery when interviewed by gardai as he was under the influence of drink,” Mr Murray said, adding the accused man had accepted responsibility on being shown CCTV footage.

Mr O’Callaghan is a father-of-two who has previously worked as a coalman but is currently out of work. Gardai considered Mr O’Callaghan unlikely to reoffend and Mr Murray said that among the “amateurish” elements of the crime was that he attempted to raid a premises “anybody would expect to have CCTV having made no attempt to hide his identity”.

The incident, Mr McCarthy said, had “effectively brought to an end” Mr O’Callaghan’s alcoholism. Garda interviews showed genuine contrition on the part of Mr O’Callaghan, who told officers: “That poor girl that works there must be traumatised. I can’t apologise enough”.

“If it wasn’t so serious, it would be comical,” Mr McCarthy said of his client’s bungling robbery attempt.

The solicitor submitted character references from the parish priest of Moyross and two Limerick employers.

Judge Carroll Moran adjourned the appeal for 12 months having received an undertaking from Mr O’Callaghan that he stay off alcohol and keep out of trouble during that period.