Man jailed for burglary and weapon concealed in underwear

Galway Daily news Three people charged in connection with Galway raids

A man received a 16 month prison sentence for burglary at a house in Knocknacarra while its occupants were in bed, and having a weapon hidden in his underwear.

Kevin McDonagh (24), of Sli Burca, Knocknacarra, pleaded guilty to separate incidents of burglary and possession of a weapon before Galway District Court.

The court heard that on August 4 of 2019, shortly before 1am in the morning, Gardaí at the Spanish Arch saw a man acting suspiciously, and took him back to the station to be searched.

There they found a large screwdriver concealed in McDonagh’s undergarments, which he said was for his protection.

The second incident before the court occurred on September 14 of 2019, shortly after midnight, when Gardaí were called to a house at Carrigeen on the Western Distributor Road, Knocknacarra.

The front door of the house was open, and the property had been gone through. Gardaí found the occupants of the house, two young women, in bed upstairs, having not heard anything.

The two women were from outside of Ireland, and here for their education. Judge Mary Fahy remarked that the incident “couldn’t have given them a very good impression of Galway”.

A laptop and camera stolen from the house were found discarded in the garden of the neighbouring house.

CCTV footage from the area showed a group of four men walking down the street outside, when two of them peeled off and approached the house which was burgled, though it did not show the crime itself.

Kevin McDonagh, matching the description of one of these two men, was seen several hours later on Abbeygate Street, and was arrested.

Defence solicitor Michael Cunningham said that his client was very intoxicated that night, having drunk a litre of vodka, and had also taken cocaine.

While he admits to trespassing on the curtilage of the property, he didn’t enter the house himself, but stood at the door while his friend burgled it the defence claimed.

The prosecution said that they do believe he committed the burglary, and that he was also asked by Gardaí to account for the other man, and failed to do so.

McDonagh had 24 previous criminal convictions the court heard, including for theft, assault, and a prior weapons charge.

Judge Fahy sentenced him to 10 months in prison for the burglary, with a consecutive 6 month sentence for the possession of a weapon.