Two delivery men bringing kegs of beer to The Skibbereen Eagle pub in Tragumna were seen going to a locked cupboard to steal sums of cash and it was later established that this had been going on for two years.
51-year-old Paul Morey of 8 Willow Gardens, Brooklodge West, Glanmire, County Cork, and 47-year-old Paul O’Callaghan of 63 Orrery Road, Gurrananabraher, Cork, pleaded guilty to stealing cash on various dates between November 11, 2017, and October 24, 2019, at The Skibbereen Eagle, Tragumna, Skibbereen, County Cork, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Garda Aisling Murphy testified that the owner of the pub kept cash in a locked cupboard of the premises at the time and the key was concealed in the premises.
The owner had given permission to the two defendants to access another key concealed outside the pub to let themselves in to make morning deliveries of beer kegs. The two men were not told of the key inside for the cupboard.
However, over time she began to notice various sums of money going missing from the cupboard. Garda Murphy said the owner decided to set up internal CCTV covering the cupboard area.
When she later examined the footage from the CCTV she saw the two delivery men go to the locked cupboard and take sums of money.
Using CCTV she could link over €2,300 of missing money to the actions of the delivery men. Gardaí were notified and they attended at the premises with the owner waiting for a scheduled delivery. They watched CCTV which showed them stealing cash from the cupboard again.
Garda Murphy said it was not possible to state categorically how much was taken over a period of two years but the accountant for the premises examined turnover and profit figures and estimated that in the course of the two years €34,000 had been taken.
Barristers Donal O’Sullivan and Emmet Boyle for Morey and O’Callaghan, respectively, estimated the total amount stolen at around €12,000. Each accused brought €4,000 to court and this total of €8,000 compensation was given to the owner.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “The level of dishonesty and the level of breach of trust is so bad in this case, if – after a period of adjournment – they do not satisfy me as to their honest efforts at reparation I will jail them.
“The level of dishonesty is despicable. They will have to pay for it. They will have to pay one way or the other.”
Sentencing was adjourned for three months with the accused remanded on continuing bail.