Man charged in connection with break-in at home of Justice Minister

A father -of-one was refused bail today after he was charged over a burglary at the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter on Sunday night.

A father-of-one was refused bail today after he was charged over a burglary at the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter on Sunday night.

Darragh Heavey (aged 25) of Moeran Road, Walkinstown, Dublin was charged with trespassing at the Minister's house, at Delbrook Manor Ballinteer, in Co. Dublin, with intent to commit theft of two watches of unknown value, belonging to Mr Shatter.

No one was home at the time of the incident which is alleged to have occurred as Mr Shatter was abroad representing the Government at St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Australia.

Mr Heavey had been arrested near Mr Shatter's home and had been held for questioning.

Det Sergeant Eugene Stapleton told Judge Clare Leonard yesterday (TUE) that Mr Heavey was charged at Dundrum Garda station on Monday (MARCH 19) night.

The unemployed 25-year-old had nothing to say in reply to caution, Dun Laoghaire District Court heard.

Legal aid was granted to Mr Heavey, who addressed the court once to nominate a solicitor to represent him after legal was granted.

Det Sgt Stapleton objected to bail citing the seriousness of the offence and strength of evidence. He said that Mr Heavey had been arrested in the vicinity of the house. A forensic examination would link him to the property, Det Sgt Stapleton also said.

He said that the offence on conviction at Circuit Court level can carry a ten-year sentence.

Defence solicitor Peter Connolly said his client was taking part in vocational courses and had suffered from depression in the past. In an application for bail, he said that Mr Heavey would abide by any conditions set down by the court including a curfew.

He also said that directions from the DPP had not yet been obtained.

Judge Leonard refused bail and remanded Mr Heavey, who was dressed in a tracksuit, in custody to appear again on March 27 next.

She noted that the DPP's directions may not be available on that date and was told that the injured party, Mr Shatter, was still out of the country.

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