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Man had 15 manhole covers off motorway

a judge said he has in mind "a lengthy prison sentence" for a man who has pleaded guilty in connection with the disappearance of 15 steel manhole covers from a motorway.

Judge Patrick Durcan said in Ennis District Court yesterday that he had in mind the lengthy sentence for Jonathan Shane O'Donoghue (20), of Bog Road, Tulla, Co Clare, "due to the organised nature of the offence".

O'Donoghue was remanded on bail from last week's court to yesterday's court to allow Judge Durcan to consider what sentence he would impose.


At last week's court, Judge Durcan said O'Donoghue had concocted a fairytale story in explaining the disappearance of the manholes.

The judge said O'Donoghue was caught red-handed by gardai last March 5 at Tubber.

He pleaded guilty to the handling of the stolen manhole covers after gardai withdrew an accompanying charge of him stealing the items.

On the date, gardai found 15 steel manhole covers in the rear of O'Donoghue's van. Gda Catriona Mangan said he "claimed that he had met a man and this man told him he could buy all the manhole covers from Ennis to Gort and he had permission to take them".

O'Donoghue's solicitor John Casey said his client never received an education.

O'Donoghue is a member of the Traveller community.

In court yesterday, Judge Durcan further remanded him on bail to Ennis District Court on November 19 for sentence.