Teen gets Bail, despite Garda Objections, Carrying a Hatchet, Screwdriver, Gloves and a Mask, others remanded in Custody?

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Teen accused of carrying out burglaries across three counties gets bail despite garda objections

28th June 2022

A teenager accused of carrying out burglaries across three counties in recent months has been granted bail despite garda objections.

Martin McAleer (19) was arrested over the weekend after a “high-powered” Audi was spotted fleeing a property in Monaghan and driving at a “high rate of speed” on the M1

The accused, of St Aidan’s Close in Tallaght, appeared in court today charged with burglary in Carrickmacross last Saturday, as well as being in possession of a hatchet, screwdriver, gloves and a mask.

He is further charged with burglaries in Westmeath and Louth in April and was remanded in custody with consent to bail.

Co-accused James O’Reilly (26), of Ard Mor Walk in Tallaght, also appeared in court charged with burglary offences. He did not make an application for bail.

Gda Conor Tuite, of Ardee garda station, told the contested bail hearing that last Saturday evening gardaí received reports of four males running from the scene of a burglary in Carrickmacross.

He said they ran towards a “high-powered” Audi RS6 estate which he observed several minutes later in Ardee travelling south.

Gda Tuite said he saw the car overtaking traffic at high speed while pedestrians were present before losing sight of the vehicle.

Gardaí later observed the Audi travelling south on the M1 at “an increased high rate of speed” and undertaking vehicles on the hard shoulder lane. The car then stopped near junction 10, and four males exited before fleeing across the carriageway.

Drogheda District Court heard Martin McAleer was arrested in a field nearby. He had scratches on his arms and head, and was covered in twigs and leaves, which Gda Tuite said was “indicative of him travelling through hedges”.

Evidence was also given that property taken from the burglary, including passport photos belonging to the occupant, were found in the Audi.

The garda said he was confident from the evidence that the accused was one of the members involved in the burglary.

Martin McAleer was also charged with three other offences.

They include two burglaries in Westmeath on April 26, during which jewellery worth €3,350 was taken from a residence in Rathowen and €1,000 in cash was stolen from a property in Killucan.

He is further accused of burglary at a property in Castlebellingham, Co Louth, the following day.

Gda Tuite said that Martin McAleer was identified from CCTV footage from two of the incidents by a garda who was familiar with the accused.

The witness agreed with Ronan O’Carroll BL, defending, that the garda who made the identification was not in court to give evidence.

He also agreed that the four males seen fleeing from the Carrickmacross incident were wearing face masks, but added that they got into a specific vehicle later spotted on the M1 which had property from the burglary inside.

The presiding judge said that a strong objection had been made but that the accused was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

She said she would release him on bail under certain conditions, including a €3,000 independent surety, a curfew, signing on daily at Tallaght garda station, and surrendering his passport.

Mr McAleer must also have no contact with his co-accused and stay out of Louth, Westmeath and Monaghan.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail. Both men were also granted legal aid and will appear before Drogheda District Court again on July 4.

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