Marlay Park

Brothers who pocketed €8,000 in cash from bartending at Dublin charity concert given community service

Brothers John and Conal McGinley had pleaded guilty to one count of theft at the July 2016 gig in Dublin’s Marlay Park.

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A LONDON FINANCIER and his university student brother who stole over €8,000 in cash while working as charity barmen at a music festival have been ordered to perform community service.

25-year-old John McGinley stole €5,275 in cash, and his younger brother, Conal McGinley (22) stole €3,370, while they were working behind the bar in Marlay Park, Dublin for Workers Beer Company, a charity organisation that raises funds at music festivals.

Both brothers, with an address at Belturbet, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty to one count of theft at Marlay Park on 8 July 2016.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that wads of cash were found in the brothers’ pockets, shoes and their car after they were observed by gardaí to be pocketing money while working behind the bar instead of putting it in the charity bucket.

John McGinley, who held a good job at a financial firm in London, had at the time fallen into the hands of loan sharks while gambling in the UK. Conal McGinley was completing a degree in business at the time.

The court heard that John McGinley committed the offence because of this gambling debt, and Conal McGinley took the money to help his brother out. Both men made immediate admissions when interviewed by gardaí. They have no previous convictions.

Judge Cormac Quinn said both young men were highly educated, having attended third level education. They came from a good family, and had experienced stigma in their own community as a result of the offence.

He noted both men had also lost employment opportunities as a result of the matter.

Judge Quinn ordered that the brothers each participate in 180 hours community service, within the next year, in lieu of 11 months’ imprisonment.

The judge had originally ordered the community service in lieu of 12 months’ imprisonment but reduced this following a submission from Keith Spencer BL, for Conal McGinley, that a 12-month sentence “would close doors” in terms of immigration, if either of the young men wished to travel to America or another country in the future.

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Liz Farsaci and Isabel Hayes
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