Man jailed for possession of jewellery said he got it 'in Lourdes'
A MAN caught with more than €20,000 worth of stolen jewellery after it was spotted by its owner, told gardai he had bought it "in Lourdes".
Richard McDonagh from Claddagh Park, Dundalk, Co Louth, was caught out after one of the pieces -- a gold bulldog pendant -- was spotted by the woman it was stolen from when McDonagh gave it as part payment for a quad bike.
Dundalk Circuit Court heard that the jewellery was stolen from a mobile home on the Concession road in Cullaville, Co Armagh, on December 17, 2008.
It included a ladies gold Rolex watch worth €10,000, a diamond ring worth €2,500 as well as gold bracelets and two distinctive gold bulldogs on a gold chain.
McDonagh admitted three charges of possession of the stolen jewellery at three locations around Dundalk in January and February last year.
The first was on January 10 at Plaster, Dundalk when he went to buy the quad bike. The court heard it cost €650 and he paid €600 cash and gave one of the gold bulldogs and chain as payment of the balance.
The shop owner put the jewellery into a teacup in his kitchen and when his step-daughter called later that day and went to pour out a cup of tea she recognised the jewellery and gardai were contacted.
A search of McDonagh's house on January 12 uncovered nearly all of the rest of the stolen items.
When detective garda Enda Rice asked him where he got it he replied, "I bought that jewellery in Lourdes," the court heard.
However, he later admitted he had bought the lot for €500 from a man who has since died and he did not know it was stolen.
Det Garda Rice said: "She was very pleased to get the jewellery back -- it was of great sentimental value and hadn't been insured."
The garda said he had known McDonagh since he was a child and he'd had "a hard upbringing". The garda agreed that all of the items, worth €20,080, had been recovered.
Judge O'Shea said it was a substantial quantity of stolen jewellery and a serious matter. He jailed him for three years on each of the three charges, the sentences to run concurrently.
Last week he jailed him for three years for endangerment after the court heard he had 71 previous convictions and had been disqualified from driving 19 times.