Talented footballer is jailed for Cork city shoplifting spree; he had 111 previous convictions

Talented footballer is jailed for Cork city shoplifting spree; he had 111 previous convictions
Danny O'Donovan stole from Brown Thomas among other shops.   Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A CORK man who was a very talented footballer in his youth, was jailed for seven months today after he was caught for multiple counts of shoplifting in Cork city centre.

Danny O’Donovan of 129 Mount Nebo Avenue, Gurranabraher, Cork, pleaded guilty to all the charges against him at Cork District Court today.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said that on top of the four counts of theft to which the 34-year-old pleaded guilty, he had 111 previous convictions. 

Those included 16 for theft, seven for burglary, one for handling stolen property and one for making off without payment for a service.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said, “He has a longstanding alcohol problem. All of his offending relates to alcohol.

“He was a very talented footballer but things went against him at an early age.

“He gets into bouts of drinking and gets into trouble as a result. He does go off drink for periods too and organises his life pretty well. 

"He is 34 and knows he has got to make serious decisions about rehabilitation at this stage.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher noted that the stolen goods were restored to the shops in some instances but that there was €270 worth of property for which shops were at a loss where there was no prospect of compensation.

The judge imposed an overall sentence of seven months in prison backdated a week to when the accused went into custody.

All four shoplifting offences dated back to August.

O’Donovan walked out of Dunnes on Merchants Quay wearing a fleece jacket without paying for it and Garda Patrick Russell called to the shop and charged him with theft. 

Garda Aoife O’Keeffe charged him with stealing two T-shirts at Michael Guiney’s. 

Garda Kevin Motherway charged him with stealing a Tommy Hilfiger jacket at Brown Thomas and Garda Kyra Ann Collins charged him with stealing two lamps from Homesense on Grand Parade.

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