Gold dealer guilty of selling stolen All-Ireland medal

The 1987 medal, won by former Meath footballer Martin O'Connell, was taken with other items from his parents home on November 17th, 2020.
Gold dealer guilty of selling stolen All-Ireland medal

Tom Tuite

A "reckless" gold dealer, who bought and sold a stolen All-Ireland winners medal, had been remanded on bail pending sentence.

John Peddubriwny, 69, of Camac Park, Bluebell, Dublin, pleaded guilty to possessing stolen property on Tuesday.

It follows an investigation after the 1987 medal, won by former Meath footballer Martin O'Connell, was taken with other items from his parents home on November 17th, 2020.

Judge Treasa Kelly adjourned sentencing Peddubriwny at Dublin District Court for a probation report to be drafted.

The court heard he worked as a "gold scrapper" on Dublin's Francis Street.

Medal and jewellery

Peddubriwny received a call from a man who told him he had "gold for sale", and they met on November 18th.

He weighed and then bought the All-Ireland medal and other gold jewellery: an elderly woman’s wedding band, a chain and a jubilee medal, worth about €1,000.

He paid €571 for them at a rate of €15 per gramme and then supplied them to another gold trader for €18.36 a gramme.

The other gold items were melted down.

But the second gold dealer became aware of media coverage of the theft and spared the All-Ireland medal, which has been recovered.

Unaware of significance

Pleading for leniency, his barrister said his client was from England originally but has lived in Ireland for 13 years. As a result, he was not aware of the significance of the GAA medal.

He had no previous criminal convictions and had set up the business with his brother, who later died. The defence said the person who contacted him had claimed to be a friend of his brother.

Counsel asked the judge to credit Peddubriwny for his guilty plea, co-operation and admissions when interviewed at Kells Garda station.

The offence was caused by recklessness. Peddubriwny, a carer for his wife, is unlikely to come before the courts again and no longer works in the gold business, the defence said.

He also wished to visit family members in Australia and America during his retirement, his barrister submitted.

Peddubriwny was remorseful and saddened for the victim, Judge Kelly noted. The case resumes in December.

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