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25/10/2021

#WATCH: Third man charged after Irish Rail worker incident in Laois

A Carlow man has been refused bail after being charged in connection with an incident in which an Irish Rail worker in Laois was attacked and locked in the boot of his car for some eight hours.

Before today’s (Tuesday, December 19) Portlaoise District Court, Martin Cunningham (35), Clonegal, Carlow, was charged with robbery, at Kilbricken, Mountrath, on December 5 this year.

Detective Garda Derek Barnett gave evidence, that the accused was charged and cautioned at Portlaoise Garda Station on December 18 and made no reply.

The court heard that there are no DPP directions in the case, and the State objected to bail.

Det Barnett said the State was objecting due to the seriousness of the charge.

He gave evidence that the injured party had started work at 5am on December 5 at the Irish Rail compound in Kilbricken.

While he was sitting in his car, the right side window of the vehicle was smashed with a wrench, before the man was punched to the head, causing damage to his eye.

The man was then robbed of his iPhone and told to get into the boot of the car, where he was locked in for approximately eight hours.

Det Barnett said the damage to the man’s eye has not yet been fully determined.

Det Barnett said that the accused is an employee of Irish Rail. The detective also said that there may be further serious charges to come against the accused.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client would adhere to very stringent bail conditions and would surrender his passport. Ms Fitzpatrick also said the accused’s girlfriend, a Ms Martin, was in court with €500 to act as independent cash surety.

Judge Catherine Staines refused bail in the case and remanded the accused in custody to appear before Cloverhill District Court on December 22.

Two other Carlow men were charged before the court last Friday, December 15, in connection with the incident. They were Patrick Martin (27), St Mullins, Carlow, and Patrick Cunningham (20), Myshall, Carlow, both charged with robbery.

Read more: Elderly farmer beaten and threatened with knife during vicious burglary.

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