Monaghan man pleads guilty to possessing stolen cash as part of ATM gang

Last month, Niall Finnegan (39) was jailed for four-and-a-half years with the final 18 months suspended for possessing the cash, which was the proceeds of the ATM thefts carried out by the gang.
Monaghan man pleads guilty to possessing stolen cash as part of ATM gang

By Paul Neilan

A Monaghan man has become the second male to admit to his involvement in the thefts of ATMS by a destructive cross-Border gang, after he pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to possessing stolen cash.

Five men have been charged before the non-jury court in relation to an investigation into the theft of an ATM in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, in April 2019 and the attempted theft of an ATM in Virginia, Co Cavan, in August 2019.

On Thursday at the three-judge court, Stephen Duffy (35) of Tullynahinera, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, pleaded guilty to possessing cash at The Yard, Tullypole, Moynalty, Co Meath, on August 20th, 2019.

The registrar said that Duffy was charged with a serious offence, which is the possession of cash for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organisation, contrary to Section 73 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Duffy spoke only to acknowledge his name and reply "guilty" when the registrar read out the charge. He was remanded on continuing bail by presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt to January 14th.

Last month, Niall Finnegan (39) was jailed for four-and-a-half years with the final 18 months suspended for possessing the cash, which was the proceeds of the ATM thefts carried out by the gang.

Finnegan of Cherry Grove, Cullyhanna, Co Armagh, pleaded guilty in July at the court to possessing or handling €103,000 at Tullypole in August 2019.

In sentencing Finnegan, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said Detective Sergeant Mark Looby had given evidence to the court regarding an investigation into six ATM thefts in Cavan and Monaghan between September 2018 and August 2019.

The judge said these ATM thefts had been carried out by what gardaí believed to be a cross-Border gang based in east Monaghan and south Armagh.

Det Sgt Looby said the gang had used excavators to rip the ATMs from their locations, and they had caused ‘significant amounts of criminal damage’ during six raids and attempted raids in the Border region.

He also said the gang had stolen €790,000 before arrests were made two years ago by undercover detectives monitoring the activities of suspects.

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