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Ex-senator stole 1923 Dáil debates book from private club

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James Heffernan (40), of Main Street, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, leaving court yesterday (FRI) after the hearing. Heffernan, a former Labour Party senator, was spared jail having pleaded guilty to two alcohol fuelled incidents. PIC: Collins Courts

James Heffernan (40), of Main Street, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, leaving court yesterday (FRI) after the hearing. Heffernan, a former Labour Party senator, was spared jail having pleaded guilty to two alcohol fuelled incidents. PIC: Collins Courts

James Heffernan (40), of Main Street, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, leaving court yesterday (FRI) after the hearing. Heffernan, a former Labour Party senator, was spared jail having pleaded guilty to two alcohol fuelled incidents. PIC: Collins Courts

A FORMER Labour senator has admitted stealing a jacket and a historical Dáil debates book from a Dublin private members club.

James Heffernan (40) had been drinking and was "evasive" about where he got them when caught nearby by gardaí.

He also admitted hurling abuse when he was found drunk on a city street on the day the General Election was announced.

Heffernan, of Main Street, Kilfinane, Co Limerick, was fined €800 at Dublin District Court.

He pleaded guilty to theft of €80 and a book, 'Dáil Éireann parliamentary debates 1923', valued at €225, at the Stephen's Green Club on August 7, 2019.

Detective Sergeant Eugene McCarthy told Judge Michael Walsh he noticed the accused wearing a distinctive jacket at Stephen Street Upper at 7.30am.

The garda became suspicious of the origins of the coat and a book Heffernan had.

Heffernan became evasive and the items were seized. The jacket belonged to the club manager. Heffernan also admitted public intoxication and threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at Lincoln Place on January 14 this year.

Heffernan had 13 previous convictions and was already under a 90-day suspended sentence for drink driving and failing to provide a specimen.

Defence barrister John Griffin said his client apologised and returned the items.

He had frequented the club when he was involved in politics.

The public order incident happened on the day the General Election was announced and he should not have taken alcohol as he was on medication and reacted to this.

Heffernan was in ongoing treatment for alcohol issues.

He will appear in Macroom District Court on Wednesday for consideration of the suspended sentence.

Irish Independent