Man jailed for 6 months for his part in South Donegal burglaries

A member of a gang which fled from gardai in a high-speed chase after stealing gold, jewellery and cash in a crime spree was jailed today for six months and fined €1,000.

Ballyshannon District Court heard that Edward Connors was among a group of three men and a juvenile who carried out three burglaries in the villages of Ballintra and Laghey and fled from gardai in a high-powered 4.2 litre Audi A4 with false number plates.

They abandoned their recently-purchased vehicle near an ESB power station on the Erne close to Ballyshannon and one man swam the river to escape into Northern Ireland. He was still at large.

Garda Shane May told the court that only €650 cash was recovered while an engagement ring and a wedding ring worth €3,000, and other jewellery worth €200 and gold dollar coins were not

He said gardai chased a black Audi towards Ballyshannon when it was driven dangerously, mounting footpaths and overtaking other traffic on continuous white lines when other vehicles were driving towards them.

Judge Mary Devins was told that when Edwards, a 37-year-old father of four was arrested after abandoning the vehicle, he admitted his involvement.

He said the coins and jewellery were still in the getaway vehicle. But Garda Maye said they weren't recovered and it was possible they were thrown away in the chase.

Defence solicitor Laura Spellman said that Connors, of Ashmore Avenue, Naas, who admitted the burglaries last September 7, did not drive the Audi.

He was involved because he was in financial trouble and had a lot of bills to pay.