'We go back a long way, boy', bail applicant reminds judge

A man with over 50 shoplifting convictions thanked a judge profusely for granting him bail yesterday and said: “We go back a long way, boy.”

Judge Olann Kelleher laughed at James Ryan’s remark at Cork District Court.

The judge agreed with Ryan, aged 45, of 2 Orrery Terrace, Blarney St, Cork, that he had known him a long time but said he had given him prison sentences too over that time.

In the course of a colourful bail application, Ryan addressed Inspector John Deasy as “prosecutor”. He was also keen to address himself to the judge so he answered a number of questions addressing himself first to “prosecutor” and then turning quickly in the witness box to Judge Kelleher, adding, “your honour”.

By the time bail was granted to Ryan the defendant was addressing the judge as “Mr Kelleher”.

Growing in confidence by the time he succeeded in getting bail he was thanking the judge as “Mr Kelleher” too.

Judge Kelleher then adjourned the case until Tuesday. Michael Quinlan, defence solicitor, said there would be a plea of guilty forthcoming to the latest offence on the next occasion.

Ryan then decided to go for broke and ask the judge a question, “Will you be here yourself on Tuesday?”

As laughter broke out in the courtroom, Ryan thanked the judge again and added before he left: “We go back a long way, boy.”

Earlier in what was a good day in court for Ryan he appealed against jail sentences for multiple shoplifting offences at Cork Circuit Appeals Court and Judge Gerard O’Brien gave him a total sentence of six months which he suspended.

Judge O’Brien said he was very concerned about the amount and variety of goods being stolen by Ryan which included €40 worth of alcohol, €704 worth of cosmetics and €540 worth of Tipperary Crystal.

Alan O’Dwyer, defending, said Ryan was appealing on health grounds and said the appellant was now off drink and getting help.

Ryan added in the appeal court, “I won’t be here next year if I keep drinking.”

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