Limerick man jailed for attempting to rob Grandmother

Limerick Courthouse

Limerick Courthouse


A LIMERICK city man who knocked a grandmother to the ground as he attempted to rob a bag of cash from her was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Geoffrey O’Donoghue, aged 39, with an address at Johnsgate Village was convicted of attempted robbery following a two day trial, which was heard in March.

He had denied attacking Mairead Lawless at Church Sturch Street on October 25, 2012.

During the trial, the jury was told Ms Lawless, whose first grandchild was born on the same day, was on her way to lodge almost €2,000 in cash from the Johnsgate branch of Ladbrokes when the incident happened at around 2.45pm.

While on Church Street, she was twisted around and knocked to the ground by O’Donoghue who then attempted to grab her handbag from her. The jury was told she screamed for help as she lay on the ground attempting to hold on to her bag.

Two men came to her assistance and Ms Lawless described how one of them fought off her attacker.

She sustained a bloodshot eye and some bruising as a result her ordeal.

In a victim impact statement, she said she still feels vulnerable when walking in the city centre and that it was distressing not to be able to lift her new-born grandchild for several weeks afterwards.

Antoinette Simon BL, defending, said her client, who has 60 previous convictions, had a “fractured upbringing” and that “drink is at the centre of his daily activities”.

She said the father-of-four, who continues to maintain his innocence, is engaged with Sláinte in an effort to address his addiction issues and she urged the court to “give him some sort of hope”.

Judge Tom O’Donnell noted there was a “complete lack of remorse” on O’Donoghue’s behalf and he commented that Ms Lawless had suffered “serious psychological trauma” as a result of being attacked.

He said an aggravating factor was that it was a “planned and premeditated exercise”.

He imposed a four year prison year sentence,suspending the final year.


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