Plant hire director quit due to convictions for handling stolen vehicles

A former director of a Kerry plant hire and subcontracting company resigned because of his convictions for handling and possession for stolen vehicles, a court has heard.

Tom O’Connor, aged 47, told gardaí he had become involved with people he described as “hooky” and he was afraid to identify them.

O’Connor, of Boltons Cross, Listowel, Co Kerry,and formerly Bunagarha, Listowel, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to handling a stolen Volvo A25D dumper truck at Brittas, Dublin, on a date between December 2009 and April 2010.

He has five previous convictions, including one at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court in 2011 for possession in December 2009 of a stolen John Deere tractor valued at €35,000.

O’Connor resigned as the director of O’Connor Plant Hire & Ground Works in Listowel in 2013 because he believed his continued involvement would damage the company’s reputation. He was declared bankrupt in 2012 and is now unemployed and on social welfare.

Detective Garda Eugene O’Sullivan told the court O’Connor was not involved in stealing or “cloning” the stolen vehicle which had its chassis number, VIN plate, and engine number removed and replaced with alternates.

Judge Desmond Hogan remanded him on continuing bail until a date in January. He said he needed time to consider his sentence and ordered a report from the Probation Services.

He asked how the accused had come into contact with people who had a truck that had originally been stolen from a quarry in Scotland.

“He should have known better,” said the judge.


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