Judge says upset over damaged headstone in Kilcully does not justify robber’s actions on Cork city street

Judge says upset over damaged headstone in Kilcully does not justify robber’s actions on Cork city street
Winthrop street.Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A 44-year-old man was jailed for two years for a city centre robbery as the culprit referred to his upset at damage done to a family headstone at Kilcully graveyard.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he did not understand the connection.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “I have some difficulty – some considerable difficulty transposing myself from Kilcully to Winthrop Street. Nothing that happened in Kilcully could justify what happened on Winthrop Street.” 

Jerry Foley, 44, of 7 Ceol Na Nean, Gouldshill, Mallow, County Cork, was sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to a charge of robbery of a wallet from a man at Winthrop Street, Cork, on February 18.

Garda Michael Costello testified that this robbery occurred as the injured party and his friend were leaving McDonald’s on Winthrop Street at the end of a night out in Cork city.

“Jerry Foley demanded a cigarette. He said, ‘Give me a fag’ or I will bust your f***ing face.

“He took out his wallet and gave him some money, hoping he would leave them alone. The defendant took the wallet and then demanded the PIN for the bank card. He provided it through fear,” Garda Costello testified.

The injured party and his friend were not physically injured but were in fear and they flagged down a patrol car.

A few hours later, Foley was arrested for a minor public order offence in Blackpool and subsequently identified for the robbery.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the victim said in the impact statement that he wanted it to be known that he thought Garda Costello acted very well and was a great help to him on the night when he was upset about what happened.

Garda Costello said Foley had 40 previous convictions including one for robbery where he served more than seven years in prison in Cardiff where it was noted that he was regarded as a danger to the public.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said that in light of Foley’s actions on Winthrop Street, Cork, it was clear that whoever made that comment about the accused in Cardiff was quite correct.

Sinead Behan said the defendant was upset at the time because someone had smashed headstones in Kilcully graveyard including one for the defendant’s 16-year-old son.

The judge said it must have been terrifying for the injured party who was threatened and robbed.

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