Four men have been remanded in custody in connection with carrying out late night raids in Longford and Leitrim.
Kean Doherty (19), 52 Cherry Orchard Court, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10; Wayne Coffey (23) 47 Michael Collins Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22; Lorcan Ross (22), 484 Ballyfermot Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 and Jamie French (23), 24 Greenfort Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 appeared at a special sitting of Longford District Court last Friday.
They were charged with theft and trespassing charges arising out of break-ins at Bell’s Shop, Newtownforbes, Longford and Esquire’s Coffee Shop, Dublin Road, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim on August 2.
Superintendent Jim Delaney said the gang broke into Bell’s Newsagents and Post Office late on Wednesday evening before making off with €700 in cash and coins.
It was alleged the four men set off in the direction of Carrick-on-Shannon where a similar raid was carried out.
Supt Delaney said gardaí managed to arrest all four defendants on the main N4 on the outskirts of Longford town during the early hours of Thursday morning.
A further incident, he revealed, was also allegedly committed in Strokestown, Co Roscommon which resulted in a criminal damage charge being issued against Mr French.
It was further claimed gardaí had since retrieved a safe from the vehicle the suspects were arrested in, some of the contents the Garda Superintendent said came from the Esquires burglary.
Superintendent Delaney said it was the State’s application to remand all four men in custody.
This, he said, was largely owing to the fact that upon conviction on indictment a burglary charge carried a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment.
He also said gardaí would be opposing bail due to the gravity of the charges and to concerns over the likelihood of all four men reappearing before the courts.
In submitting a bail application for his client, Mr Doherty, defence solicitor Frank Gearty, said the 19-year-old was in fact charged with a trespassing charge and not that of burglary.
No bail application was made by Mr Gearty’s other client, Mr French, however.
Bail applications for the pair’s co-accused, Mr Coffey and Mr Ross were also made but denied by Judge Deirdre Gearty.
The Judge said while all four had the right to enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, her decision was based on the seriousness of the charges before the court and the strength of evidence provided.
She granted legal aid to each of the men before remanding them in custody to appear before Harristown District Court on Friday.