While out on Bail, Kelly the Thug, Robbed Two Innocent people, Donna Mc Dermott is still, at Large.

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Victim speaks out after horror home invasion by thug on BAIL with 71 convictions

Longford criminal John Kelly out on bail when gang broke into apartment for cash and phones

Weaver’s Hall, where the attack occurred
Weaver’s Hall, where the attack occurred
The victim and the convicted attacker John Kelly
The victim and the convicted attacker John Kelly
The victim told the Sunday World how the raid has affected him
The victim told the Sunday World how the raid has affected him

Today at 08:27

A man who had a knife held to his throat during a terrifying home invasion says he thought he wouldn’t make it out of his home alive.

Serial offender John Kelly (34), of Cluain Ard, Ardnacassa, Co Longford, was out on bail when he and two accomplices broke into an apartment at Weaver’s Hall in the town in the early hours of June 3 last year.

Kelly, who has 71 previous convictions and was on bail for robbery at the time of the offence, was sentenced to five years with one and a half of those years suspended for robbery in the Circuit Court earlier this month.

The court heard Kelly, a father-of-nine, pretended to be a garda and waved a fake warrant while a male accomplice armed himself with a knife from the apartment.

John Kelly (pictured) broke into the apartment at Weaver’s Hall
John Kelly (pictured) broke into the apartment at Weaver’s Hall

Kelly’s partner Donna McDermott also took part in the break-in as they demanded money from the shocked residents.

A Brazilian man who had just moved into the apartment and his Chinese housemate were sleeping in separate bedrooms in the apartment when the trio broke in.

The Brazilian man, who asked not to be named when he spoke to the Sunday World at the apartment this week, said he was sleeping when he heard someone at his bedroom door at around 5am and thought it was his housemate.

“It was around 5am. I opened my bedroom door because I thought it was the girl knocking at my bedroom door.”

He said he opened his bedroom door and Kelly and the others were there demanding money, armed with a knife from the kitchen.

“Three people were shouting “money, money, money, phone, phone, phone”. They came into my bedroom and took my phone and were looking for money but I didn’t have money in my room.

“They put a f**king knife at my throat. I thought I was going to die. I definitely thought they’d use the knife.”

He said they were extremely aggressive as he motioned how the knife was held to his throat.

“I think they were all on drugs or something,” he said.

The victim told the Sunday World how the raid has affected him
The victim told the Sunday World how the raid has affected him

The man said he got out into the corridor of the apartment and tried to get out the front door but the three raiders stopped him.

“I tried to get out the front door but they blocked my way out and they had the knife,” he said.

He eventually managed to run towards the kitchen.

“I went towards the kitchen and ran away to call for help. One of the windows was a bit broken so I thought they got in through the window. The window was open so I jerked it open to run away.”

Around the same time the raiders approached his Chinese housemate Kit Delong’s room and started demanding money from her.

In a statement provided to gardai, Ms Delong, who has since left Ireland, said she was suddenly woken in her bedroom where she found two men and a woman standing over her.

The court heard Ms Delong was able to identify Kelly, who sported a cap and dark raincoat, by a small scar under his left eye. The raiders fled with a wallet containing €850, a mobile phone and jewellery belonging to Ms Delong as well as her housemate’s phone.

“They were looking everywhere for money. They grabbed her and pushed her away to get in the room,” her housemate said this week.

The housemate told how he tried to summon help after escaping through a window.

“There was nobody on the street to call the garda so I went to a public phone but the phone wasn’t working so I came back here and my neighbour called the gardai,” he said.

By this stage the raiders had left but the victim used a ‘find my phone’ app to try to locate his phone and discovered it was still in the same apartment complex after the robbery.

“I was checking to see where it was and I could see it was still in the same location [apartment complex] and I was thinking ‘what’s the story?’ Then my neighbour had suspicions and he said I think strange people call to one of the flats [in the complex] all the time.”


It transpired Kelly had been staying over at another apartment in the complex when he decided to commit the robbery.

Weaver’s Hall, where the attack occurred
Weaver’s Hall, where the attack occurred

“I had no idea they were downstairs. It’s silly, how can you rob somebody in the same block?

“My neighbours called me and said ‘listen, come here and say let’s see if this guy’s here’. They knocked into the flat. These people were there smoking crack and all this s**t.

“They were visiting somebody downstairs. My neighbour knocked in and they were all smoking crack. The garda checked the apartment and didn’t find my phone. They found the girl’s phone but my phone wasn’t found.”

The man told the Sunday World that Ms Delong left Longford as a result of the incident.

“She is from China. She went back to Taiwan. She will come back [to Ireland eventually] but not to Longford, to Dublin.”

He said he didn’t think he would have been affected by the incident as much he has been. “I’m Brazilian. I live in Ireland because I feel safe compared to South America.

“I’m from Sao Paulo and there I cant go out after a certain hour because it’s dangerous.

“In Brazil people have guns at their head, not knives, but honestly, I thought the guy was going to stab me and kill me.”

He said he doesn’t feel as safe any more.

“I thought this wouldn’t have an impact on my life but it did. Since this I stopped going out with my friends. I hate when someone knocks at the door. It’s almost been a year but I get excited [fearful] when someone knocks.”

He said he moved out of the apartment in the aftermath of the attack before recently returning, but plans to move to Dublin soon.

Despite all this he said he will not leave Ireland out of fear. “I’m going to stay here. I like Ireland and the people,” he said.


Kelly is well known to gardai with more than 70 convictions for offences including robberies, assaults and threats to kill.

In one incident he threatened to a kill a pregnant woman who was then viciously attacked by a female associate of Kelly.

The court heard he was on bail in connection to a separate robbery carried out in Dublin at the time of the Weaver’s Hall raid.

Kelly was sentenced to four years in prison for that offence and was not due for release until June 2025.

Judge Keenan Johnson imposed a five year sentence to run consecutively to the four year term Kelly is already serving. The final 18 months were suspended for five years.

Donna McDermott (37), with addresses at Cluain Ard, Ardncassa and Springlawn, Longford, pleaded guilty to the same offence at a previous court sitting and had been due for sentencing. However, the court heard that despite a bench warrant being issued for her arrest, she is still at large.

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