Cases arising out of a spate of thefts of full kegs of beer from pubs around Cork City during the summer of 2013 were heard in court yesterday.
A man faced a number of charges in relation to thefts which had left publicans out of pocket.
The accused, 31-year-old Christy O’Donoghue of 1 Castlejane Court, Glanmire, Co Cork, was found not guilty on two charges relating to reported thefts outside public houses, Crane Lane and Counihan’s, in the city centre.
However, he was convicted of stealing six kegs from outside the Rob Roy on Cook Street during that summer period.
“This was an organised campaign early in the morning down on Cook Street and the publican was at a loss and continues to be at a loss,” Judge Olann Kelleher noted.
He sentenced O’Donoughue to six months in prison and set bail pending any appeal at €1,000 and an independent surety of €1,000.
Detective Garda Neil Walsh, who investigated the case, said during the summer months of 2013 there had been a spate of thefts of kegs from outside licensed premises in Cork City centre.
The modus operandi was that a delivery truck would deliver kegs outside a pub at 6.30am to 7am and, shortly afterwards, a van would pull up. The driver would get out, open the side door and load up a number of kegs.
The evidence consisted of CCTV from outside the three pubs of a blue van pulling up outside the Crane Lane and Counihan’s on June 25, 2013, and a red van at the Rob Roy three mornings later.
A man wearing a black hooded jacket with grey stripes and a lighter coloured lining inside the hood had been seen loading up the kegs.
Det Garda Walsh said he could identify the accused from the CCTV and said O’Donoghue had been wearing the jacket when gardaí encountered him leaving his home on a later date.
Emmet Boyle, solicitor, challenged the evidence and said: “It is taking a leap of faith against the interests of the accused to decide against him in terms of identification.”
Judge Kelleher said he could not convict the accused on the evidence in relation to kegs loaded into a blue van outside Counihan’s and Crane Lane.
However, he convicted him of stealing the kegs from outside the Rob Roy.
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