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Monday 19 March 2018

Man 'in disbelief' after exhaust pipe is stolen twice from his car outside Dublin hospital

Eugene Connolly Photo: Liveline
Eugene Connolly Photo: Liveline
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A man has shared his disbelief after the exhaust pipe was cut from his car twice outside a Dublin hospital.

Eugene Connolly told RTÉ's Liveline that he had to retire his Hyundai jeep after the exhaust pipe was cut out from it at Connolly Hospital car park, twice.

"In July last year, I was down visiting my mother at Blanchardstown hospital on a Saturday at 5pm. I pulled up as close to the hospital as possible and pulled the windows down. I was in the sun so I thought I better move to the shade for my dog and I pulled around in under the trees. I went off and got my €2 ticket and went to see my mother.

"When I came out an hour later, I started the car up and there was a mad noise coming from it. I made it home and I contacted my mechanic to come up and look at it. He looked under the car and he said I didn't have an exhaust pipe.

"It had been cut out from one end to another. It was about 10 foot long and there was a catalytic converter with platinum which is worth money. I asked if he could get me a new one and he said they were €4,000. I got onto the insurance company and they said they would cover it but my premium would go up. I asked for a second hand one but I was told that wasn't possible. My car was a scrapper."

Eugene said that he was two months without a car, which made life very difficult for him as his mother's carer.

"We have lots of hospital appointments so the car is really important. I was two months without a car and eventually my mechanic rings me and said he got a second hand exhaust pipe and he put it in for me. I was delighted."

He said that he reported the theft to gardai and reviewed CCTV at Connolly Hospital.

"My car was under the trees, another car pulled up beside it and there was some activity. There is only one camera on either side and it pans across so when I came back five minutes later, the other car was gone. It looked like they rolled under the car and got the pipe within seconds."

Last Thursday, Eugene said he fell victim to a second theft.

"I was down at the hospital with my mum and the same thing happened again. It's comical. This time it was on the other side of the car park. It was quite busy. I just could not believe it. I got onto the security company again. Eventually I got the guy and he said the camera on that side isn't working so no luck. It was the same thing stolen, from the same car, in the same car park."

A caller named Marian Keoghan told RTÉ's Liveline that she had a similar experience at Connolly Hospital on Jan 30:

"My exhaust pipe, catalytic converter, my GPS, my engine sensors and the wiring was pulled. It cost €4,300. When I rang the hospital they said sorry but that the camera was down in that area.

"My husband is a mechanic so when I came home he took a look at it. I couldn't believe it. My husband said it was a professional job and it was cut from start to finish. He estimated it would have taken 10 minutes to do." has contacted Connolly Hospital for comment.

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