“IT’S NEARLY a full-time job to watch clothes banks,” said Superintendent Pat McCarthy at Kilmallock court.
He was speaking during a case where three Romanian nationals pleaded guilty to theft from a clothes bank in the Lidl car-park in Charleville.
At 1.45am on Sunday, November 27, he said Gardas Helen O’Callaghan; Gary O’Sullivan and Gerard Dillon were on duty.
“They saw a van near the clothes bank. They spoke to three men who said they were Romanian nationals.
“The found 16 black refuse sacks full of clothes for the St Vincent de Paul in the back of the van. The value is approximately €200,” said Supt McCarthy.
Luciana Raicu, aged 34; Dumitru Andries, aged 38 and Ionut Clamparain, aged 26, all with an address at Courtown Road, Kilcock, Co Kildare pleaded guilty to theft.
Jay Gokul, barrister for the defendants, said his clients have been in the country for a month and are not entitled to social welfare.
“A friend encouraged them to come to Ireland for a job.
“It transpired there was no job. It was out of a desperate need for income that they succumbed to this inducement,” said Mr Gokul.
The barrister said the friend was a “bad influence”.
Two of the men are married with two children each and a third’s girlfriend is pregnant, the court heard.
“They are disillusioned with their trip to Ireland and want to return to Romania. They were encouraged to do it and promised money.
“They live in one room together. They are destitute. They do regret it and express remorse. They just want to get back to Romania,” said Mr Gokul.
Judge Mary Larkin asked Supt McCarthy about this type of crime and he said clothes are “being taken all the time”.
“It’s nearly a full-time job to watch clothes banks,” said Supt McCarthy.
Judge Larkin fined each of the men €50 in view of their circumstances.
Recognaissance was fixed in the event of an appeal.