Men jailed for burglary of community centre in County Limerick town

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Judge Mary Larkin: handed down jail time at Newcastle West court

Judge Mary Larkin: handed down jail time at Newcastle West court

TWO MEN who broke into the community centre in Newcastle West and stole cash two months ago have been jailed.

Patrick Quilligan and Barry McCarthy, who both live at O’Connor Park, Ardagh, pleaded guilty to the crime on May 28, 2018.

The two males broke into the community centre, and stole €300 from the petty cash box in an office.

Newcastle West court heard that the discovery was made by the caretaker, who alerted gardai about the break-in and the missing cash.

Descriptions of the males were given to gardai, and the men were subsequently arrested on foot of the reported information.

They both made full admissions after they were apprehended by local gardai.

Mr McCarthy had nine previous convictions, the court heard.

Mr Quilligan had 56 previous convictions, and had two other matters before the court on the same day.

Solicitor for the defendants, Michael O’Donnell, said that the two men have not paid compensation, and would not be in a position to do so.

Both Mr McCarthy and Mr Quilligan struggle with addiction, the court heard.

Judge Mary Larkin said that the burglary of a local community facility like this has a huge and shocking impact on the community.

“These men need treatment so that they can lead lives in which they won’t offend,” said the judge.

Noting the previous convictions, Judge Larkin first handed down a three-month prison sentence to Mr McCarthy.

The judge said that Mr Quilligan has “a dreadful record”, which included several stints in prison.

“One would think that after all this prison and punishment, he wouldn’t reoffend,” said the judge.

“I am not going to make matters worse,” she added, handing down the same three-month prison sentence.

Mr Quilligan was also fined €200 and €100 for two separate public order offences during the court appearance.