Monday 21 May 2018

Mary Lou McDonald's staff hid in locked room as burglar kicked down door

Mary-Lou McDonald. Pic Tom Burke
Mary-Lou McDonald. Pic Tom Burke

Andrew Phelan

A BURGLAR broke into Sinn Fein TD Mary Lou McDonald’s constituency office after kicking in the door, a court heard.

Fergal Reilly (35) did not realise two staff members were inside and was arrested after the quick-thinking workers locked themselves into a room and phoned gardai.

Judge Cormac Dunne jailed Reilly for 11 months when he admitted to the break-in. Dublin District Court heard nothing was taken and he was arrested at the scene.

Reilly (35), of Limekiln Hall, Dublin Road, Navan, pleaded guilty to burglary at the Sinn Fein Office on Amiens Street on March 26 last year.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at 7pm.

Reilly went to the office and kicked in the door before entering a staff area. There were two female staff members in the premises at the time and they locked themselves into a room before alerting gardai.

The gardai arrived and arrested the accused before he realised that the staff were there.

Reilly also admitted a series of separate theft-related and other offences. The court heard he went to Des Darcy Motors, North Street, Swords, on July 17 last and stole a mobile phone while trespassing in a staff area.

On August 11 last year, he got into the Maths Department at Trinity College and  stole a backpack.

Reilly went to the home of his ex-girlfriend at Castlegrange Way, Swords, on February 3 this year. When he was refused entry, he kicked and broke the front door, causing €500 worth of damage.

He also entered the house and put the applicant of a safety order in fear, the court was told.

On August 28, 2014, Reilly opened the lock to a premises at Richmond Road, Fairview, causing €200 worth of damage.

There were two employees in the office and he fled, but was arrested by gardai. Reilly also admitted shoplifting a jacket worth €80 at Marks & Spencer, Liffey Street, on March 25 last year.

The court heard Reilly is already serving a prison sentence for another offence, which was imposed on July 28 this year and backdated to February.

Judge Dunne said he would not add to the accused’s time in prison. He imposed three concurrent 11-month sentences, all backdated to the same date in February.

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