Thief avoids jail for raid with sword

Conor Gallagher

A robber whose accomplice smashed the windscreen of an off-duty garda car's with a samurai sword has avoided jail.

Detective Garda Shane Kelly saw the raiders flee from the scene and chased them in his personal car.

When he cornered their vehicle near Lucan one of the raiders used the sword to smash the detective's windscreen.

Barry Delappe (41) of Harcourt Street pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a sword at the Gala Shop, Newcastle, Dublin on November 20, 2011. Yesterday, he received a three-year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. His co-accused, who attacked the garda, was previously sentenced to 20 months.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring had adjourned the case last April to see if Delappe would be a suitable candidate for restorative justice.

She noted that while the programme is happy to work with Delappe, the staff member in the Gala Shop was not interested in engaging with it.

"I totally understand why he would not wish to engage," Judge Ring said.

She sentenced him to three years in prison which she suspended in full on condition that he continues to engage with the Probation Service for 12 months and follow its directions in relation to drug rehabilitation and the Restorative Justice Programme.


The court heard Delappe entered the shop while swinging the sword and demanding money and cigarettes.

He took €400 from the till and some cigarettes. As he was leaving he told the shop owner that he would return if he called the gardai. He then got into a waiting car which sped off.

Defence counsel Dean Kelly BL said Delappe has acted as carer to his son who has a serious illness and he is addressing his heroin addiction.