Portlaoise Garda Station and Laois Offaly Divisional HQ.
A man alleged to have carried out an armed raid at a filling station in Mountrath, Co Laois before firing a shot while hijacking a van appeared in court in Dublin today.
Joseph Moore (31), no fixed abode, formerly of Market Mews, Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, Co Laois, is a accused of discharging a gun while seizing a Volkswgaen Caddy some distance from where the garage was raided.
It is alleged that Mr Moore had threatened to kill a woman and stole her car at his own home on August 18.
The incidents are all alleged to have taken place on Friday and Saturday, August 18 and 19. He was also charged with burglary at a house and robbery at another filling station in Laois the previous week.
He is charged with robbing €930 from Emo Filling Station, Mountrath, on August 19 and a subsequent seizing on the same day of the van by threat of force at Derrykearn, Abbeyleix.
He also faced charges of burglary at a house at Oldtown, Abbeyleix on August 10 last, then robbing a man of €1,970 at Jones Oil, Tea Lane, Portlaoise the next day, August 11.
The Irish Independent reported that Garda Keith Shier of Portlaoise Garda Station said the accused was arrested last night and made no reply to the charge of unlawful taking of a car.
In reply to the threat to kill charge, he said "I'm so sorry," Garda Shier said. Moore said: "I'm sorry, I apologise to everyone involved" when charged with unlawfully seizing the van.
"I'm so sorry" was the response to Garda Shier's robbery charge.
Detective Garda JP O'Brien said the defendant replied "I am sorry" in reply to the remaining two charges.
He confirmed to the judge that there had been no local court sitting and no offer to convene one.
Det O'Brien asked for accused to be remanded in custody and defence solicitor Brian Keenan said he was making no bail application on Mr Moore's behalf at this stage.
Det O'Brien asked for notice to be given of any bail application, saying the alleged offences were serious and involved a "fully loaded rifle being discharged" while a vehicle was hijacked.
Judge O'Neill remanded the defendant in custody to appear in court again on August 29.
Mr Moore "suffered significantly" as a result of this incident and spent a number of days in hospital before he was arrested, Mr Keenan said. He asked Judge O'Neill to recommend medical attention for the accused while he is in custody.
She did this, and granted free legal aid after hearing the accused was unemployed. Mr Moore did not speak during the hearing.
He was remanded in custody.