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26 Jun 2022

Man stole leaf blower from early morning cleaners in Letterkenny

A 37-year-old man has avoided a conviction for what a Donegal judge described as a 'foolish act'

Man stole leaf blower from early morning cleaners in Letterkenny

Malachy Delaney at Letterkenny District Court. (North West Newspix)

A man charged with stealing a leaf blower belonging to a company carrying out an early-morning clean-up during the Donegal International Rally has appeared before court.

Malachy Delaney, a 37-year-old from Newcastle in County Down, was brought before a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court on Saturday afternoon,

Garda Christopher Sweeney gave evidence of arresting Delaney at Ramelton Road, Letterkenny at 6am. Delaney was charged at 7.18am and made no reply.

The court heard that Glenard Plant employees were carrying out a substantial clean-up operation on behalf of Donegal County Council.

One of the operators placed the leaf blower on the ground. The accused was nabbed on CCTV picking up the blower and placing it in the boot of a nearby vehicle.

Delaney spoke only to plead guilty to a charge under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.

Mr Rory O’Brien, solicitor for Delaney, said his client was an unemployed single man.

“There had been some earlier interaction where he had just been blowing debris of some nature that came across his feet,” Mr O’Brien said.

“He took matters into his own hands, lifted it and placed it into a car. He effectively removed it and placed it somewhere else.”

Mr O’Brien said his client had no connection to the vehicle in question.

Delaney brought €200 to court, which was sourced from family members.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said if Delaney paid the €200 to the Donegal Hospice she would strike the matter out.

“It was a foolish act,” Judge Cunningham said.

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