A 28 year old woman who admitted a series of shoplifting offences and trespassing at a parochial house, is minding her 13 year old sister as their parents are both currently in custody in Northern Ireland, Dundalk district court heard.
Judge Eirinn McKiernan imposed sentences totalling 16 months on Nora McDonagh with an address at Clann Chulainn Park, Dundalk but adjourned the cases to February 9th and told the defendant that she was considering suspending the jail terms if she does not come to garda attention and engages with the Probation Service in the interim.
The defendant had 94 previous convictions. The court heard Ms. McDonagh entered the Applegreen M1 Southbound at Castlebellingam on May 15th 2019 and took a number of sweets and soft drinks worth €16 and left without paying.
On September 11th 2019, the defendant stole €222 worth of goods stolen from Sports Direct, M1 Retail Park, Drogheda which were later located at her home address.
At Tesco, Donore Road, Drogheda on October 12th 2020, four people stolen over €200 worth of goods and got into a vehicle afterwards and Nora McDonagh was identified on CCTV.
The court heard a female caller to the Parochial House, The Dales, Clogherhead on the afternoon of April 9th last claimed that she was looking for a baptismal certificate.
The woman who let her into the premises was checking the register when she heard footsteps upstairs.
Two females came downstairs and an older woman came out of the sitting room.
They claimed they had been looking for the toilet. Six days later it was reported that drawers and presses had been found open although no property was stolen.
The defendant was again identified on CCTV and was arrested and charged with trespass.
The Defence barrister said his client was someone who had been living a chaotic life and using illicit substances but she is now residing with her new partner who is from a ‘settled’ background which has resulted in her being ostracised from her own family.
He added Ms. McDonagh is now caring for her 13 year old sister as their parents are in custody.
Letters from the defendant and her medical team were handed into the court and the counsel outlined how she was not recommended as a candidate for community service and he asked the court to consider a suspended sentence – with the sentence suspended for a significant period.
Judge McKiernan imposed a four month sentence for one of the offences, and two separate but consecutive sentences of six months and in deferring the order until February, stressed “the main thing” is that the defendant does not come to garda attention in the intervening period.
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