Ireland's Eye - A round up of top Irish news stories
A look at news from around Ireland
"He would have had no money except a couple of coins in his pocket," Dudley said.
Jail for the Holidays
A PRISONER received no extension to his jail term for stealing a charity box from a pub when the judge learned the sentence he originally gave him had been extended as a result of prison infractions beyond Christmas.
“Not to worry. There’ll be extra drumsticks on the day,” joked Judge Seamus Hughes with Patrick Conlon, 24, of Grange Meadows, Mullingar.
The judge had originally sentenced Conlon in Mullingar District Court to two months in prison on November 14 for snatching a handbag, but anticipated a release date that would allow Conlon out for Christmas.
However, his prison escorts revealed that Conlon now had an expected release date of December 28, and that this could yet be stretched out even further.
“Were you a bold boy in prison?” asked the judge.
“I was. I didn’t take my medication. Oh, and I gave them [the prison escort officers] abuse on the way here ,” he admitted.
Inspector Nicholas Farrell told the court how Conlon had been in the Fiddlers bar on Connacht Street in Athlone on October 17 when he went behind the counter and took a charity box, with contents estimated at €100.
“I’m trying to get my head together. I’m 24 now and I want to get my act together. I have a drink problem, and my anger is another one,” he admitted.
“I have a certain sympathy for you. I get soft myself over Christmas,” said the judge.
“I’ll try not to come around you again,” said Conlon, as the judge added four more weeks to his sentence, but ruled they run concurrently.
Cops and Robbers
LOCKING doors and windows is one of the most basic safety precautions the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) recommends to avoid falling victim to thieves. But last week opportunistic criminals stole two kit bags from a police vehicle in Antrim after officers failed to take their own advice and secure the car.
The officers were attending a report of theft at a property in Caulside when the items were stolen. A PSNI spokesperson confirmed the incident had occurred but stressed that none of the items taken was a risk to the public.
"The bags contained various items of clothing and equipment, none of which could pose any danger to the public. Police enquiries into the theft are ongoing and officers are keen to hear from anyone with any information that could assist their investigation,” said the spokesperson.
Despite these assurances, former mayor and councilor for the area Paul Michael said the security lapse was “extremely concerning.”
“This is a complete embarrassment for the police," he said. "As the festive season approaches we are all told to keep our belongings under lock and key but clearly, in this case, that hasn't happened. I would be looking for assurances from the police that this kind of incident will not be repeated."
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