A young Skerries alcoholic who broke into an aviary and killed 12 "unusual and exotic display birds" by pulling their heads off will be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Glen Conroy (aged 20) of Mourne View had drunk 12 cans of beer and a litre of vodka when he and an accomplice broke into Newbridge House in Donabate, which contains an aviary for exotic and rare birds.
Detective Garda Aidan McGuire said Conroy mutilated and killed 12 "invaluable and irreplaceable" birds worth €2,670 and several of them cannot be replaced because it is forbidden to import them due to the bird flu epidemic in Asia.
Four birds also escaped from their enclosures and were not recovered.
Conroy, a father of one, pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal damage on April 13, 2006. He caused €160 worth of damage to the aviary fence.
Detective McGuire told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Carroll BL, that Conroy suffered from ADHD and had a "serious drink problem and propensity for violence".
He had 33 previous convictions including ones for firearms offences, burglary, assault and robbery.
Conroy is currently serving a three-year term handed down last May for robbing a 52-year-old Swords mother and is not due for release until 2009 at the earliest.
Detective McGuire said the night watchman at Newbridge House saw two youths on CCTV as they smashed the fence of the aviary and pull the heads off the birds. He saw that one youth was stripped to the waist and drinking from an bottle.
Conroy and his accomplice then left the aviary and gardai and staff arrived to find the 12 dead and birds.
The gardai recognised Conroy on the CCTV and he was interviewed about the break-in when arrested on another matter several days later.
He told gardaí he did it because he was drunk and did not remember killing the birds until told by a friend the next day. He said "he snapped their necks and gave them a few boots".
Defence counsel Mr Ray Colgan BL said his client was abused as a child and had received very little formal education to the extent that he is unable to read a newspaper.
He asked Judge Patricia Ryan not to interfere with Conroy’s current release date and submitted that he had show "remorse" for his actions.
Judge Ryan ordered a probation report and adjourned sentence until December.