Teen given away by tattoos in attempted bank robbery

A man who tried to rob a bank in south Donegal was caught after a bank assistant recognised him by the teardrop tattoos on his face.

19 year-old Joseph Myers walked into the Bank of Ireland branch on Main Street in Ballyshannon in Co Donegal and demanded a cashier put money into a plastic bag for him.

Myers was wearing a ‘hoodie top’ and a type of mask but the official recognised him, refused to give him any cash and told him to get out of the bank.

Before he left the bank Myers pulled out a small hatchet and then threatened an elderly bank official before leaving and jumping into a getaway car without any cash.

Gardai were alerted and Myers was later arrested on the same day of the attempted robbery, July 22nd, 2009, in Boyle. Co Roscommon.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard yesterday how Myers of Tuam Road, Galway, had a tragic past and had been located with sixteen different families before being adopted by his current parents.

His parents had also adopted his brother and another girl and both had gone to be up standing citizens – one was at college and the other was in the army.

Defence counsel Peter Nolan told Judge John O’Hagan that it is a mystery why Myers turned out to be the black sheep of the family.

Myers handed a hand-written letter of apology into the court.

Judge John O’Hagan said he appreciated Myers may now be trying to turn his life around now that he has become a father for the first time.

However he said he must take into account the fact that he had so many previous convictions as well as the seriousness of the case.

He sentenced Myers to two years imprisonment for attempted robbery and one year for using a weapon with both terms to run concurrently.