A Portlaoise man caught with stolen tools belonging to Irish Rail told the district court that he had taken the items with the informal consent of a foreman with the company.
Joseph Moore, 370 Market Mews, Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, was charged with two counts of possession of stolen property, on July 2, 2015.
Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence that a drill belonging to an Irish Rail depot was found in the possession of the accused.
An employee of Irish Rail identified the drill by a distinguishing mark, said Inspector Baker. The item was valued €160. Another drill was also found on the premises, which was one of three cordless drills stolen in 2014. This item was valued at €152.
The accused had a total of twelve previous convictions, including one for theft.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said the items were in a shed belonging to the accused and were discovered by gardaí during the course of another investigation into an unrelated matter.
The accused explained that the items had been taken from his workplace with the consent of the foreman, as there was a casual, informal arrangement in place.
The accused then went off work with depression, and when he returned to work the foreman had left the company.
The accused didn’t know what to do with the items, which he had used to put up a basketball hoop at home, and made the foolish decision to say nothing.
Mr Meagher said there had been nothing untoward about the matter, but the accused made a very foolish decision and didn’t deal with things appropriately.
Defence concluded by saying that the items weren’t reported stolen and the accused made admissions to the Gardaí.
Judge Catherine Staines asked would the accused be willing to do community service, to which Mr Meagher replied that Moore suffers with acute anxiety and depression for which he takes five different medications leaving him very drowsy and lethargic.
Mr Meagher said this issue might raise its head if he was doing community service. Judge Staines put the matter back to May 25 for a community service report, recommending 150 hours in lieu of six months in prison.