AN attempted robbery at a Limerick bookmakers has been described as an “amateurish” enterprise at Limerick District Court.
John O’Callaghan, 34, of Dalgaish Park, Moyross, regularly frequented the Ennis Road branch of Hackett bookmakers which he attempted to rob on Sunday afternoon, September 29 last.
Garda David Boland, Henry Street garda station, said he had been given a description of a culprit who had made off empty-handed from the bookies.
When he encountered John O’Callaghan on the Old Cratloe Road, the accused had a balaclava in his possession and “admitted his role in the offence that had taken place about 15 minutes earlier”, said Garda Boland.
He told Mr O’Callaghan’s solicitor, Sara Ryan, that the accused was known to staff at the bookies.
The person he had attempted to hold up “knew him from frequenting the bookies, he used to go in a couple of times a week”, said Garda Boland, agreeing with Ms Ryan that the attempt had been “amateurish”.
While Mr O’Callaghan had previous convictions for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition in 2004, Garda Boland agreed with Ms Ryan that “we’re not talking about an Uzi submachine gun”.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a house was searched and a number of persons present were arrested,” said Garda Boland.
Mr O’Callaghan was not somebody who had come on Garda Boland’s radar in during his years policing the Mayorstone district and nor had he come to adverse attention since last September, Judge Aeneas McCarthy was told. Mr O’Callaghan seemed “genuinely remorseful” in relation to the attempted robbery, Garda Boland said.
Before the court, Ms Ryan said, was somebody who had “an excellent work history” who had been working with an engineering firm for nine years before losing his job shortly prior to the incident at the bookies.
There had been a delay in getting welfare payments and Mr O’Callaghan, who had children to support, was somebody who had “gone from having a wage to having no income”, Ms Ryan said.
Judge McCarthy remanded Mr O’Callaghan on continuing bail to June 25 for a probation report.