Suspended sentence for man who stole over €30k from employer

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Galway Daily courts Woman sentenced for spitting in face of young girl at bus stop
credit: Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0 'The Courthouse, Courthouse Square, Galway'

A man who stole €30,935 over many months from the pub where he worked received a four year suspended sentence at Galway Circuit Court this week.

Despite the magnitude of the theft, and the financial implications it had for the owners, 33 year old Donal Carr’s former employer informed Gardaí that he had no desire to see him go to jail, since the money had been repaid.

Carr, then of Clogher’s Hill in Tuam, pleaded guilty to two charges out of large indictment for burglary and theft in November 2019 at the Circuit Court.

He had been a barman at the Brogue Bar in Tuam for more than 15 years, and was regarded as family by the owners before this happened.

He was caught on February 3, 2019 when Gardaí arrested him leaving the premises with €1,200 in marked €50 bills taken from the bar’s safe.

Brendan Holian, owner of the Brogue, had made a complaint to the Gardaí a few days beforehand that he had seen Carr entering an office where employees were not supposed to be, and take money from the safe.

On the date of the arrest Holian had been monitoring CCTV inside the office remotely, and had marked cash in the safe with a fluorescent pen.

When interviewed by Gardaí, he admitted to having stolen from the business on multiple occasions in preceding months, and six thefts were captured on CCTV.

In October of 2020, at an initial sentencing hearing, Holian said that the breach of trust, and the financial affect it had on them, were massive.

“Donall Carr was to me a member of our family. He was the most trusted member of staff we ever had,” Holian said, adding that the thefts “nearly ruined us”.

So trusted was he that, when Holian first noticed that money was going missing, he went to Carr to ask him about who might be responsible.

At that time, Judge Rory McCabe said that he was conscious of the fact that sending Carr to jail immediately would make it impossible for the Holian’s to recover what had been lost.

But the judge warned that if he didn’t make a serious attempt to repay the money stolen from the Holian’s, he should “bring his pyjamas” because he wouldn’t be going home.

Garda Alan Sheerin gave evidence this week that Carr has not come to any Garda attention since, and that all of the money has been repaid.

He added that Brendan Holian said that he is happy to have gotten his money back, and didn’t want Carr to go to jail.

“We all make mistakes in life, I hope he gets to have a wonderful life,” Holian passed on to the court through Garda Sheerin.

The defence said that Carr has completed a residential treatment programme for his gambling addiction, after telling the court on the last occasion that he had a scratch card problem that even his family didn’t know about.

A positive report from the probation services was also presented to the court, where Carr was deemed suitable for community service.

Judge McCabe said that he was considering a fully suspended sentence based on the “generous and charitable” attitude of Holian.

Ultimately he imposed a four year sentence, but suspended all of it for a period of four years.