Roma girl tells court: "No one will hire me"

An 18-year-old who was caught begging on the streets of Cork said there was no way she was ever going to get a job.

A solicitor said Constansa Munteanu, aged 18, had told him: “I am Romanian, no one will employ me.

The teenager, from 50 Orchard Court, Blackpool, Cork, appeared before Cork District Court for penalty only. She was fined €150 for begging at Winthrop St on November 24.

Dennis Healy, solicitor, said the girl was actively involved in courses such as learning English and sewing and was seeking work.

The solicitor represented several members of the Roma community yesterday who pleaded guilty to offences of street begging.

Florin Fiti, aged 31, of 5 Douglas Rd, Cork, was fined €250 for an offence on Liberty St on December 3. Insp Brian O’Donovan said the accused was actively begging with a puppy on his lap and had received over €80 by the time gardaí arrested him. Judge Marie Keane directed the €80 would be sent to Cork Penny Dinners.

Mr Healy said Fiti had been in Ireland for the past five years and could not get a job. Judge Marie Keane said: “I would have thought it should be obvious to him he is not going to achieve work in this country.”

The solicitor said that after many years of representing members of the Roma community in Cork, their prospects were even worse in Romania.

Also before the court was Lina Munteanu, aged 21, who was fined €250 for stealing over €100 worth of cosmetics from Boots in Blackpool retail park on May 21, and Veta Rostas, aged 36, of 11 Springview Terrace, Commons Rd, who was given two fines of €200 for begging at South Mall on December 8 and at Liberty St on December 11.

Ionel Rostas, aged 42, of 5 Southern View Place, High St, and Maria Puica, aged 21, of 30 Orchard Court, Blackpool, were each fined €250 for begging on December 17.

Madian Rostas, aged 28, of 11 Springview Terrace, Commons Rd, was fined €250 for begging on November 29 and Cornel Rostas, aged 25, of 80 College Rd, received two €150 fines for begging on November 15 and 23, and €200 for shoplifting at Penneys, St Patrick’s Street, on November 25.


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