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Alleged 'crime gang' from Dublin appears in Mayo court

Four men from Dublin were in court in Mayo on Sunday.

FOUR MEN WHO gardaí allege are part of “a highly sophisticated, organised crime gang”, appeared before a special sitting of the district court in Castlebar yesterday in connection with a number of recent burglaries in Mayo.

Bail was refused by Judge Seamus Hughes in respect of three of the accused, who were 30-year-old Shane Byrne from Jobstown, Tallaght; 27-year-old Dean Maguire from Tallaght and 29-year-old Daniel Lawlor from Tallaght.

A fourth accused, 19-year-old Gerry Wall from Dublin, was granted bail by Judge Hughes on strict conditions.

Bail was sought by solicitor Lorraine Stephens on behalf of Byrne, Maguire and Lawlor but the applications were refused by the judge following objections by gardaí.

Supt Tom Calvey objected on the grounds of the seriousness of the offences and the fact that if given bail the accused might commit further criminal offences.

The superintendent explained that €30,000 in cash stolen from a house at Bohola, Mayo, has not been recovered and there was a fear that if released the stolen money might be disposed of.

During the course of the 80-minute hearing, the judge heard that a list of other potential burglary targets allegedly compiled by the crime gang, had been found in a vehicle seized by the gardaí and was believed to have been used by the suspects.

The court heard from gardaí that they believed those on the list were believed to be at risk of further burglaries.

All four defendants appeared in court on Sunday charged with entering the home of Joe Heneghan from Claremorris, Co Mayo, on 20 September and committing an arrestable offence. 

Giving evidence in respect of the objections to the bail applications Detective Sergeant Michael Doherty and Garda Damian Ryder both outlined that Joe Heneghan’s home was unoccupied on 20 September when €1,000 cash, €500 in coins, a cheque for €500 and a Revenue cheque for €243 was stolen.

The court heard that when he returned home Heneghan found the door unlocked, pictures knocked off the wall and a bedroom door forced open.

The gardaí gave evidence that as a result of a subsequent search of a house from Claremorris and Castlebar, supervised by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Revenue cheque had been recovered.

A car at the scene also matched the description of a vehicle which had been used in previous burglaries in two locations in Castlebar. 

In respect of Shane Byrne, Dean Maguire and Daniel Lawlor, the judge refused bail. He remanded all three in custody to appear at Harristown Court on Friday. In the case of Gerry Wall, the judge granted bail subject to strict condition.

Wall was then remanded on bail to appear before Castlebar District Court on 5 November.

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