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Monday 16 July 2018

Alleged 'silage-buying' burglars remanded in custody

Gordan Deegan

The four alleged burglars of a rural Co Clare farmhouse where a 95-year-old man was asleep last Friday were further remanded in custody at a court sitting yesterday.

At Ennis District Court, the four Limerick men appeared in court via video link from Limerick prison and Insp Tom Kennedy applied to the court that the case be put back for two weeks to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) get directions.

In the case of the four, Judge Patrick Durcan remanded all four in custody to re-appear in court in two weeks time on January 24.

Two of the four, Paul Kiely (30) of Glencairn, Dooradadoyle, Limerick and Edward Woodland (18) of Greenmount Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick have consent to bail if they can provide an independent surety, but they have not provided an independent surety to date.

In the case, three of the alleged Limerick burglars fled from a rural Co Clare farm house after discovering that the sole occupant was a man in his 90s asleep in the home.

That was the allegation heard at a special sitting of Ennis District Court last Saturday afternoon where three members of the one Limerick family along with a fourth Limerick man first appeared charged with burglary at the O’Connor residence at Ballyveskil, Tiermaclane near Ennis on Friday afternoon.

In evidence at a bail hearing for the four last Saturday, Insp Kieran Ruane said that it will be the State case that the alleged burglary at around 3.30pm on Friday afternoon was planned.

Insp Ruane said that it will be alleged that one member of the group, John Woodland lured Vincent O’Connor away from his home to a nearby field on the pretence of buying sillage.

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In evidence Det Garda Gary Stack said that John Woodland (38) - sporting two black eyes via video link yesterday - had first contacted Mr O’Connor concerning purchasing sillage at the start of December.

It will be further alleged that while John Woodland was speaking to Vincent O'Connor, father and son, Patrick Woodland (43) and Edward Woodland (18) both of Greenmount Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick along with a third man, Paul Kiely then forcibly entered the home.

However, when the three came across Vincent O’Connor’s elderly father, they fled the home. Det Garda Brendan Rouine told the court in evidence that the man’s sleep was undisturbed.

Insp Ruane said that the elderly man was not confronted by any of the accused.

Det Garda Stack said that the three were caught by Gardai after a short foot chase in a nearby field. Gardai also apprehended John Woodland of Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra Avenue, Limerick.

Det Garda Stack said that as part of the investigation, Gardai have seized a number of mobile phones and he said that Gardai are confident that traffic on the phones will show that the operation was planned.

Det Garda Damien O’Connor said that there was a Garda surveillance operation in the area at the time

Insp Ruane said that on inditement, a charge of burglary carries a sentence of 14 years in jail.

Det Garda Rouine said that after charge at 12.20am on Saturday morning, Edward Woodland replied ‘Nice one man’. The three other accused made no reply when charged.


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