TWO 19-year-old men arrested over the weekend following a garda chase in the Knockmore/Pontoon area appeared in Castlebar District Court yesterday (Tuesday). They were remanded in custody after they were charged with up to 13 offences, including burglaries and the theft of a car containing a shotgun.
Luke Wall (19) of Gurteenamuck, Knockmore, and John McDonagh (19) of 27 Muredach’s Terrace, Ballina, will now appear before Friday’s sitting of Harristown District Court in Castlerea.
Both men were apprehended on Sunday morning after landowners in the Knockmore/Pontoon area blocked off roads forcing the two men to abandon their car. The two men were quickly arrested and questioned in relation to a wave of burglaries in the Mayo/Galway region.
The pair were charged the possession of a car, which was stolen in Galway and contained a firearm and cartridges. When charged by Garda Joanne Hennessy of Corofin Garda Station, Mr Wall replied ‘I’m sorry I wasn’t in the car’ and ‘I’m sorry I didn’t take the gun’ while Mr McDonagh made no reply.
The two men were also charged with a raft of other offences, including theft and burglary, by gardaí from stations in Castlebar, Claremorris, Swinford, Ballina, Foxford and Enniscrone.
Inspector Joe Doherty told the court that he was applying for the two men to be remanded in custody on the grounds they were caught ‘red handed’ and that they were facing very serious charges. In the case of Mr Wall, he said the offences were committed while he was on bail and he was by his own admission on drugs.
Mr John Gordan, solicitor for Mr Wall said his client had the presumption of innocence and was entitled to bail. He said his client was originally from Newry in Co Down but was living with his grandfather in Knockmore and had no intention of going back to Northern Ireland. Mr Gregory McGuire, BL representing Mr McDonagh, also made an application for bail. However, both applications were refused by Judge Mary Devins.
She remanded both men in custody to appear before Harristown District Court on Friday for DPP direction and the possibility of further ‘serious’ charges.