A WOULD-BE robber was so drunk when attempting to hold up Ardnacrusha Post Office that he left a bag containing â‚¬1,000 in cash behind him, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.
Alan Oâ€™Callaghan, 29, of Pineview Gardens, Moyross, had held up a female member of staff with a concealed â€œbarrel-shaped objectâ€ that turned out to be a tent pole. In the course of what his solicitor Darach McCarthy described as â€œa farcical endeavourâ€, Mr Oâ€™Callaghan had arrived at the rural post office in his own car and made no attempt to mask his identity.
Mr Oâ€™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 Oâ€™Callaghan had demanded that the staff member fill the bag with cash but this fell to the ground and Mr Oâ€™Callaghan fled the scene empty-handed.
â€œHe couldnâ€™t remember having committed the robbery when interviewed by gardai as he was under the influence of drink,â€ Mr Murray said, adding the accused man had accepted responsibility on being shown CCTV footage.
Mr Oâ€™Callaghan is a father-of-two who has previously worked as a coalman but is currently out of work. Gardai considered Mr Oâ€™Callaghan unlikely to reoffend and Mr Murray said that among the â€œamateurishâ€ elements of the crime was that he attempted to raid a premises â€œanybody would expect to have CCTV having made no attempt to hide his identityâ€.
The incident, Mr McCarthy said, had â€œeffectively brought to an endâ€ Mr Oâ€™Callaghanâ€™s alcoholism. Garda interviews showed genuine contrition on the part of Mr Oâ€™Callaghan, who told officers: â€œThat poor girl that works there must be traumatised. I canâ€™t apologise enoughâ€.
â€œIf it wasnâ€™t so serious, it would be comical,â€ Mr McCarthy said of his clientâ€™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 Oâ€™Callaghan that he stay off alcohol and keep out of trouble during that period.
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