Finn McCarthy of Shalvanstown, Slane in County Meath pleaded guilty to theft in Galway District Court on Monday after using a bank card he found on the ground in January last year.
The card belonged to a Galway woman who dropped it at the Tuam road shopping centre on January 20, 2017.
Instead of turning it in after he picked it up, McCarthy used the card at seven different locations around Galway City in a minor two-day spree.
He spent a total of €107.08 – in part because he had to tap the card, as he didn’t know the PIN – so each purchase was limited to under €30.
McCarthy used the card to buy groceries, petrol, and a meal at McDonald’s, among other items.
He made the purchases at Applegreen, Topaz Bohermore, and Monaghans Garage on the Tuam Road, and then at Happy Days, McDonald’s, Sweeney Oil, and Tesco on the Headford Road the following day.
The charges ranged in cost from €27.20 at Topaz Bohermore to only €1.40 at Monaghan’s Garage.
McCarthy was caught by the guards after reviewing CCTV footage from the Tuam road shopping centre.
He made a full admission to authorities during the interview.
The 23-year-old has no previous convictions and paid €500 in compensation to the victim on Monday.
After dropping out of college, McCarthy worked part-time until he lost his job due to health difficulties. He now helps out on his family farm in Meath and volunteers for suicide prevention charities.
The court will await a victim impact statement before sentencing.