“It is difficult to envisage a more serious crime” said Judge Kevin P Kilrane upon convicting Thomas Sweeney, 55 Gilmartin Rd, Tuam , of holding an unauthorised collection and acting as a collector without authorisation to do so at Main St, Carrick-on-Shannon on September 11, 2016 and sentencing him to four months in prison.
The Court heard Mr Sweeney was observed collecting money for Crumlin Children’s Hospital without a required permit along with a juvenile male. The Court heard Mr Sweeney had collected €48 and it was confirmed to Gardai by the hospital that Mr Sweeney was not authorised to collect money on behalf of the hospital.
Insp Denis Harrington told the Court Mr Sweeney has a total of 51 previous convictions for offences including theft, drugs offences, road traffic matters and public order offences.
Insp Harrington confirmed the defendant had a false id with him while collecting money on the date in question.
Entering a plea defending solicitor Laura Spellman said Mr Sweeney is a 35-year-old man with six children. “He tells me this is the first time he has ever engaged in such behaviour. He tells me he has climbed Croagh Patrick for charity and is very apologetic.”
She added, “The majority of his offences are road traffic in nature. I would ask the Court to consider the involvement of the probation services. He has told me he would be willing and able to community service.”
Ruling as outlined Judge Kilrane said he did not require a probation report and fixed recognisance at €100 own bond and €1,500 independent surety, €750 of which must be lodged.