Traffic garda caught €3,500 pub robbers who gave wrong details

An alert traffic garda whose suspicions were raised by a car occupants solved the mystery of a €3,500 pub robbery on a Sunday morning when people were at Mass in a nearby church.

Ballyshannon District Court heard  how Garda John Sweeney who was on traffic duty at Dunkineely became suspicious when he discovered two car occupants gave wrong details.

He studied CCTV pictures of a pub robbery at MJs pub, a short distance from St Patrick’s Church, Donegal town, at 11.20 on a Sunday morning and he recognised the two he saw in the car.

Supt Jim Coen told the court the car was later located at Ballintra halting site and €1,600 of the stolen money was recovered.

Daniel Donaghue, 18, from Cloomore Park, Tallaght, Dublin, who at first denied participation in the theft on May 2 last year in two statements to gardai, pleaded guilty in court. It heard he had a string of previous convictions.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said: “He is a hardened criminal at the age of 18 years of age.” He sentenced Donaghue to eight months detention.

The court was told an older man was sentenced at an earlier hearing.