A Dublin criminal admitted driving burglars around the South of the country but didn’t know if he met them in Waterford or Cork – prompting the sentencing judge to remark, “Once they get past the Grand Canal, geography is not a strong suit of the Dubs.”
Even the accused man, Kevin O’Brien, 43, from Rossmore Avenue, Ballyfermot, Dublin, laughed at that comment from Cork Circuit Criminal Court when he appeared by video link from prison on Friday.
Detective Sergeant James O’Shea said gardaí received information of two car-loads of men travelling around the south of the country carrying out burglaries.
The incident dates back to February 13 2017 and gardaí from the Regional Support unit moved in on them on the border between Cork and Limerick, near Mitchelstown in the early hours of the morning.
Kevin O’Brien was the driver of one of the cars – a Toyota Corolla – and as the gardaí approached he revved the engine but the gardaí managed to turn off the ignition.
The men were in possession of implements associated with burglaries, including, gloves, caps, snood, Taser, wheel-brace, and other items. O’Brien pleaded guilty to his part in possessing the items associated with burglaries at Lisnalanive, Anglesborough, County Limerick, on that date.
Katie Stevens, defence barrister for O’Brien, said the 43-year-old cooperated at interview with the gardaí.
Ms Stevens BL said the Dubliner had met up with the other parties in order to get heroin to feed his addiction. She said that in exchange for getting heroin he agreed to drive them around as directed.
“He may have been a vulnerable person. He worked previously in the building industry. He was not the brain behind the operation. I would say he was the least involved. He was involved to feed his drug addiction,” Ms Stevens BL said.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “This man was the driver of the vehicle, not the brains behind the operation. It could not have happened if he did not facilitate it with his car. They were fully equipped for burglary.
“They were poaching around for that purpose with all the equipment needed.
“I am not impressed at all that on two separate occasions he was dealt with properly and leniently (with suspended sentences) probably because of pleas made about his addiction.” In all the circumstances a sentence of 18 months was deemed appropriate.