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We're a great country for serial offenders - judge

A JUDGE has described Ireland as "a great little country for people with multiple convictions", claiming that no punishment is a deterrent to them.

Judge John O'Neill made the comments as he sentenced a mother-of-one to six months in prison after she broke into a restaurant, ransacked a back office and stole more than €2,500 worth of cash.

Dublin District Court heard that Winnie Joyce (30) has 93 previous convictions and is currently serving a four month sentence.

Sentencing Ms Joyce to six months consecutive to the sentence she is currently serving, Judge O'Neill said that Ireland was "a great little country for people with multiple convictions. Nothing is a deterrent to them".

The defendant, of Camden Hall Hostel, Dublin 2, admitted before Dublin District Court to burglary at Cedar Tree Restaurant on April 2 last.

The court heard the restaurant manager put €2,700 in cash in a locked box in the office. The office was subsequently ransacked and the cash stolen.

Gardai looked at CCTV footage and identified Joyce as the culprit.

She had been hanging out at a laneway at the rear of the restaurant and entered the building through a back door.

She was later arrested by gardai and admitted stealing the cash, which was not recovered.

Joyce also admitted to a string of public order offences.

The court heard she was pulled from the river at Aston Quay on July 6 last after gardai saw her climbing over a wall. She was intoxicated at the time.

She was also pulled back by officers from entering into the river at Aston Quay, on July 23.

Defence solicitor Kerrie O'Connor said Joyce has a drink problem and is trying to address it.

Ms O'Connor also said the defendant started using drugs when she was only 12-years-old, but she has been clean of heroin and stabilised on methadone for 18 months.