A Kiltimagh man who stole a 30-year-old bulldozer from a neighbour’s yard did so because he thought ‘the bank’ had taken over the property.
Cathal Gilmartin (42) of Main Street, Kiltimagh, pleaded guilty to the theft of the bulldozer belonging to Martin Mulroy in February of this year.
His solicitor, Charlie Gilmartin, said that the defendant had heard that the property where the bulldozer was located – a derelict school belonging to Mr Mulroy – had been ‘taken over’ by the bank. However, it was subsequently learned that the property was still in Mr Mulroy’s possession.
“That word was around,” said Charlie Gilmartin. “My client foolishly went and took the bulldozer, as he felt he was as well to have it as the bank having it.”
Gardaí received a report of the theft on February 9 last and the following day, Cathal Gilmartin admitted to taking it.
Garda James Malone told the court that Gilmartin told him that he had organised Galway Metal to call and take it, and that he got €1,490 for the scrap metal value of the bulldozer.
The court heard that the bulldozer had been parked at the property, in Lisduff, Kiltimagh, for over 12 years. A value of €4,500 was put on the machine by a plant-hire and sales company for the purposes of this case.
Charlie Gilmartin told the court that his client had, through a family member, paid Mr Mulroy €6,500 in compensation. He was not, the court heard, making an issue of the excess from the value of the bulldozer.
The court heard that Cathal Gilmartin is a plant-hire contractor and that he cleans out sheds. When he gets enough for a load of metal, he asks Galway Metal to collect it. The court heard that Mr Mulroy had paid £10,000 for the bulldozer 30 years ago.
Charlie Gilmartin said that the incident took place in broad daylight and that his client had made no effort at secrecy, as he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
Addressing the court in response to a point made by Judge Mary Devins that he ‘did well’ with the level of compensation, Martin Mulroy disagreed, saying he had to pay solicitor’s fees and that a steel girder was also taken from the property. He said he wanted to restore that bulldozer as a new one would cost €60,000.
Judge Devins adjourned sentencing to October 2, 2013.