A 41-year-old Scotsman who brought his dog to a burglary appeared in court this week, after he broke into The Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna and stole a credit card machine.
Sean O’Neill, who is originally from Glasgow but has an address at Rooska, Lisdoonvarna, pleaded guilty to burglary at The Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna on August 2, 2017, and also to possession of cannabis at his address on August 5, 2017.
At Wednesday’s sitting of Ennis District Court, Inspector Tom Kennedy outlined that O’Neill broke into the business premises by breaking a glass panel in the door. “He took a wireless machine for credit cards. That is how he was detected, because he tried to use his card in the machine later that day,” he said.
Inspector Kennedy told the court that, in total, between the damage and the loss of the machine, the smokehouse was out of pocket to the tune of €700.
Inspector Kennedy said when gardaí went to Mr O’Neill’s house, following the burglary, they found cannabis in the house and charged him with drugs possession.
Defence solicitor John Casey said his client was homeless for a period of time but was taken in by a friend in Lisdoonvarna. He said O’Neill was “extremely drunk”.
Mr Casey continued, “When he went in, he had his dog with him and the dog was seen on the CCTV. The dog was at the house when gardaí paid him a visit.”
Mr Casey explained that O’Neill had taken the credit card machine down to a local river and tried to use his own bank card in it. That was what “brought the gardaí to his door”. He said the machine had fallen into the water.
Mr Casey said O’Neill had a tough life in Glasgow and things had “spiralled out of control” for him. He had been drinking heavily and had an issue with drugs. He said the burglary “was a drunken thing, this was not planned”.
“He was staying with people in Lisdoonvarna. He wants to apologise and knows that this is a business and that his actions have not helped them,” Mr Casey said.
Judge Patrick Durcan said the incident must have been very “upsetting” for the business. He imposed a fine of €250 on O’Neill on the drugs charge and took the burglary into consideration.
By Carol Byrne