The father of a young man who was alleged to have stolen €5,000 from him gave testimony despite not wishing to bring charges against his son.
Anthony Connolly, 20 Clooneevan, Haggardstown, Dundalk was alleged to have entered the house of his grandmother and grandfather on the night of 31 July 2012.
Connolly and another man, whom there is a warrant out for his arrest, were driving around Carrickmacross. They stopped at the house of Connolly’s grandmother at Coolreagh.
Connolly entered from the backdoor of the property, which he knew to have been left open, and made his way through the house.
In a press over the TV he found a cup with several rolls of money in it. His father, Patrick Meeghan, had left the money there to pay various bills and debts owed.
Connolly left, and would tell a Garda later that he did not know why he did it. His grandmother awoke and called his father. His father rang the guards, and crucially in a statement said he suspected that his son had taken it.
Taking to the stand in court, Meeghan told the court if he knew it was his son, he would not have contacted the guards.
Inspector Seamus Boyle said that this contradicted his statement on the night, if which he later said he was happy to for charges to brought against his son.
It transpired that he had texted his son asking for his money back, but had received no response.
Ms Catherine Taaffe argued that at no point had guards asked did he have consent to take the money, as he had been questioned on a burglary charge, and not on a theft charge.
She also stated that his father had said that if he had known it was his son he would have given him the money as he was in a ‘spot of bother’.
She argued that it did not constitute theft as a result.
However it was argued that Connolly in his statement to the guards after he was arrested was that he did not have consent to take the money. He also said in the interview that “I seriously regret it. I don’t know why I did it. I do stupid things.’
The court heard that his grandmother was relieved when it was her grandson as it meant that a stranger had not been in the house.
The judge said that he found the fact that Mr Meeghan had said that it was alright to proceed with the complaint only after he had not received the money back afte r sending a text, was cynical.
He found Connolly guilty and adjourned the case for a probation report.