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Monday 20 November 2017

Traveller in Phil Hogan row was convicted of stealing cash

Environment Minister
Phil Hogan
Environment Minister Phil Hogan
Patrick Carthy at his home in Co Kilkenny

Cormac McQuinn and Tom Brady

THE Traveller at the centre of the Phil Hogan letter row appeared in court in recent weeks on theft charges.

Patrick Carthy (32) was given 12 months' probation for taking cash from a garden centre on the Callan Road in Kilkenny.

He was also fined earlier this year for trespassing on a property and driving an animal-drawn vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

And court records show at least two further convictions in the last seven years.

Mr Carthy has been at the centre of a storm of controversy after it emerged the Environment Minister wrote to constituents just outside Kilkenny city to say that the Carthy family "will not be allocated the house in your area".

In the letter, he told locals in Bonnettstown he was "glad to be of assistance in this matter".

But Kilkenny County Council subsequently ignored Mr Hogan's pleas and placed the family in the house.

When the letter became public last week, Mr Hogan denied he had been racist or abused his power.

Mr Hogan referred to "anti-social behaviour", stretching back to the 1990s. "I brought that information to the attention of the local authority who were ultimately responsible for making the decision".

Mr Carthy vehemently rejected Mr Hogan's allegations, saying: "There was never any trouble out in Bonnettstown with my family. There was never any hassle with us."

However, just over two weeks ago district court judge Eamon O'Brien ordered Mr Carthy to enter a 12-month probation bond after he admitted stealing a float from a garden centre.

The court heard that on May 19, 2011, the defendant stole €87.20 from a cash register float which was recovered at the scene.

Trespassing

Mr Carthy had two other convictions this year alone.

On July 2 he was fined €300 for trespassing at a premises at Freshford, Co Kilkenny.

And in March he was fined €500 for driving an animal drawn vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in Lavinstown, also in Co Kilkenny.

Previously, he was convicted of cruelty to an animal in 2007 and fined €450 and he had a prior conviction for driving a horse and trap while drunk in 2005, for which he was also fined €500.

On that occasion he admitted that he led the gardai on a night-time chase during which he crashed into a wall injuring the pony.

At the hearing, defence solicitor John Harte said Mr Carthy hadn't intended to injure the animal.

Mr Carthy's solicitor said his client had consumed about eight pints before leaving the pub on the sulky and that he had sped up when the gardai had approached so as not to hold them up.

He said the alcohol had clouded his client's judgment.

At the trial, Mr Harte mentioned that Mr Carthy had previous road-traffic convictions and had been disqualified from driving, which was why he was using the sulky for transport.

Last night, Mr Carthy continued to claim that he hadn't been in trouble with the law even after been presented with evidence that he was the man listed in the court records.

He said: "I have no convictions. Even if I had convictions, what has it got to do with Phil Hogan? What has it got to do with where I'm living now at the minute?"

When told the date of birth on his birth certificate matched the one listed in the court records, he said: "I have no convictions. I don't know whose date of birth you got but you didn't get mine."

He added: "What I've done or haven't done and what I give the papers or what I give the telly, that's it. I want an end to this now. I just want to be left alone, left in peace."

He ended the conversation saying: "I'm not admitting to anything. This is the end of the road. Good luck."

Irish Independent

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