Longford man accused of stealing digger from Irish Water workers gets bail

Theft: Stolen digger was discovered in accused’s back yard

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Longford man accused of stealing digger from Irish Water workers gets bail

A man charged with the theft of a 2007 New Holland Kobelco digger, which was parked up for the weekend at Lower Ferefad has been released on bail and is due to reappear in March following last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

Fergal Gannon, with an address at Ferefad Lower, Longford, was arrested shortly after 10.30pm on January 18 and charged with the theft, which had been reported to gardaí earlier that morning.

The vehicle, which had been used to carry out works by Irish Water in the previous week was discovered by gardaí at the back of Mr Gannon’s property, approximately 1.5km away from where it had been stolen.

“This is a very odd thing to do,” Judge Hughes noted as he heard the evidence.

Solicitor, Frank Gearty, explained that the digger had been parked up on the grass verge on January 15 and was missing when the workers returned on January 18.

“It’s not something that’s easy to hide,” said Judge Hughes.

Gardaí present in court last week explained that the vehicle was a 2007 model and was started with the aid of a machine.

It was proposed that the case be adjourned to February 2, but defence solicitor Lorna Groarke requested a longer adjournment due to Covid-19: “to avoid people like me showing up in your court,” she joked to Judge Hughes.

Judge Hughes agreed to adjourn the case to March 9 fixing bail with a number of conditions attached.

Mr Gannon must reside at his address in Ferefad Lower and abide by a curfew of 10pm to 8am. He must sign on at Longford Garda Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and 8pm and he must present himself to gardaí who call to his address.

Judge Hughes also told Mr Gannon to have no contact with the victim or witnesses, to provide a contact number to gardaí, and to remain drug and alcohol free, though he took note of a “possible drinking problem”.