A MAN has been accused of burgling a Navy vessel that had just begun operating as part of a Covid-19 testing centre.
Patrick Hynes (34) allegedly got into the ship docked on Dublin’s quays, took a uniform jacket and car keys and tried to find the vehicle to steal more property from it.
He was granted bail after his defence lawyer told a court the allegation was the accused had “chanced his arm” in an “opportunistic” crime.
Judge Miriam Walsh adjourned the case for the directions of the DPP to be given.
Mr Hynes, with an address at Baylough, Athlone, Co Westmeath, is charged with burglary at the LÉ George Bernard Shaw on Dublin’s quays in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Dublin District Court heard he was charged at 3.24pm yesterday at Pearse Street garda station and made no reply after caution.
He was handed a copy of the charge sheet, Garda Fran Kennedy told Judge Walsh.Objecting to bail, Gda Kennedy said the vessel was docked at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay where a Covid-19 testing centre was in operation.
Gardaí got a call that at 1.40am a man trespassed on the boat for the offence of theft and had stolen a number of items.
While searching the area, the accused was stopped close to the scene.
He matched the description been given out by Navy personnel.
Mr Hynes was questioned and searched and gardaí found a set of car keys on him.
He admitted the keys were taken from the ship and said he had been returning them, the garda said.
He admitted taking a uniform jacket with the keys and a beret belonging to the Naval Service and pointed out the ship to gardaí.
The accused told officers he had been walking around with the keys, pressing buttons to try to find the car and steal items from it, Gda Kennedy continued.
He alleged Mr Hynes was “caught red-handed” and told gardaí he had been living homeless at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay since August last year, close to where the ship is docked and “will be for the foreseeable future”.
Defence solicitor Michael Kelleher said the accused, who was “down on his luck”, admitted to gardaí he got into the boat and took the jacket with the keys, but he had “no luck” with them, and he was on the way back with them when he was stopped.
“I was looking for food as well, I thought they were giving out food,” Mr Hynes interjected.
Gda Kennedy said while it was a serious alleged offence, the accused did co-operate.
Judge Walsh granted bail to Mr Hynes.
The accused has not yet entered a plea to the charge.