Gary Walsh, 31, pleaded guilty to the robbery of €3,800 at Blarney Post Office at Monacnappa, on January 24 last.
Originally, from Blarney, the accused had addresses at Mill Lane, Ballincollig, Co Cork, and an apartment in a retail park at Kilmallock, Co Limerick.
CCTV evidence tracked his journey to Kilmallock as the Toyota Avensis he was driving had a number of distinguishing features including bright silvery handles and hub caps.
He admitted his involvement in the robbery and acknowledged that the money found in his jacket amounting to €1,600 was some of the proceeds. The remaining €2,200 was not recovered.
Detective Sergeant Maurice Leahy said Walsh waited in a queue until a woman customer left. He then produced a note from his pocket.
The teller noticed Walsh had something up his sleeve which she believed was the barrel of a gun. Walsh would later tell gardaí it was an iron bar and not a gun.
The detective said: “There was no roaring and shouting, he did not physically threaten her. If anything he was very discreet and quiet about what he was doing.
He handed over a plastic bag to be filled with money, he then went to his car which was parked 50 metres away and drove to his home in Kilmallock.”
Walsh was out on licence from prison when he carried out the crime in Blarney.
Peter O’Flynn, defence barrister, outlined domestic matters and said it was the defendant’s belief he has done the wrong thing for the right reason.
He said Walsh had an addiction to cocaine in the past and went on to develop an addiction to prescription tablets.
Walsh wrote a letter of apology to the post office worker.
Judge David Riordan, imposing a five-year sentence, with the last year suspended, said if the defendant was truthful about using the proceeds of the crime for domestic reasons, there should be some receipts to show the missing €2,200 had gone for that purpose.
He offered to adjourn sentencing for receipts but Mr O’Flynn said there was no application for an adjournment.