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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

Thief who broke into isolated home of All-Ireland winning captain jailed for nine months

The burglary occurred at the rural Co Clare home of former county captain Anthony Daly in October 2016.

Anthony Daly Anthony Daly Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

A FEMALE THIEF was yesterday sentenced to nine months in jail for a daring burglary at the isolated, rural family home of double All-Ireland winning Clare hurling captain, Anthony Daly.

At Kilrush District Court, Inspector Tom Kennedy said that former Dublin hurling manager and current RTE pundit, Daly and two of his daughters were in their home at Tullycrine in west Clare on 5 October last at around 10pm when mother-of-one, Stacey Massey (30) and a male accomplice entered the home’s utility room and kitchen.

Kennedy said that Daly was unaware of the burglars’ presence in his home and it was only when his wife, Eilish, and teenage daughter were arriving home that the two saw the burglars fleeing out the back of the house.

Eilish Daly gave chase to the two and alerted her husband who headed towards the boundary trees at the property in pursuit.

Gardaí were also alerted and soon after Massey of Alphonsus Street, Limerick, and her accomplice were apprehended by officers in scrub area near the Daly home.

€50 was recovered from the male along with a gift voucher that had been a birthday present for one of the Daly daughters.

Just an hour previous, Massey and her male companion were released from Garda custody at Kilrush Garda Station having been processed in relation to abandoning a crashed car near the village of Lissyasey at 5.30pm that evening where they were arrested by gardaí after a search of the fields nearby.


Gardaí dropped off the two at Kilrush town centre to catch the bus to Limerick but they missed the bus and made their way to Tullycrine where Daly’s home lies just off the main Ennis to Kilrush Road.

The two burglars then entered the home just before 10pm.

tullycrine Tullycrine, Co Clare Source: Google Maps

Judge Durcan said that the Dalys didn’t want to come to court to give victim impact evidence “but that doesn’t mean that there are not victims, that doesn’t mean that these are hard and seasoned people who are not upset by this”.

He said: “My experience teaches me that anyone who is subject to burglary is deeply upset by it and it’s an upset that lasts for a long time – particularly with people with young children the upset is greater.”

“Mr and Mrs Daly live in a relatively public area close to the road and a pub but they are in an isolated and rural area. They will for many years be worried about leaving any of their three children in their home by themselves.”

They will have a worry every time they drive into the yard that there will be someone scampering around the place. That is the damage that burglary does to the victim of that type of criminality.


In the case, Judge Durcan sentenced Massey to 14 months in total for the two offences of burglary and abandoning the car suspending the final three months.

The total sentence was made up of a nine month term for the burglary with the final three suspended and a consecutive five month jail term for abandoning the crashed car.

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The male in the case was jailed for his role in the crime last October.

Judge Durcan also disqualified Massey from driving for six years. In anticipation of Durcan jailing her, Massey brought a bag of her belongings to court for her time in jail.

Durcan said that Massey has “a horrific record” and her 60 previous convictions include 14 convictions for theft and two for burglary while she also has three drink driving convictions, three for dangerous driving, and four for no insurance.

Massey was banned from driving at the time of the car crash last October.

Solicitor for Massey, Tara Godfrey, said that she apologises unreservedly to the Dalys.

Godfrey said that Massey is currently being rehabilitated at the Ana Liffey Drug project in Dublin and is in “a very, very good place and begs the court to allow her continue the work with Ana Liffey and suspend any prison sentence”.

She said: “My client is very much a work in progress and she has responded to the services very well.”

At the time of the Daly burglary, Massey “was very diminished in her ability to deal with herself and her situation and she was an easy accomplice to be found by this other person”, Godfrey said.

Daly – who wasn’t in court – yesterday declined to comment on the case.

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Gordon Deegan

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