Man broke into apartment with son and robbed woman

February 1, 2017

A man has been found guilty of burgling the home of a woman he had met in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Francis McDonagh, 41, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with burgling the home of Caroline McDaid in Buncrana and stealing €70.

McDonagh entered the apartment at Sliabh Sneacht along with his son Francis Junior on September 30th, 2015.

Ms McDaid had been sleeping on the sofa and awoke to find the two men standing over her.

She told them she was going for a walk with her dog and told them to be gone when she came back. She said it all happened very quickly.

When she returned she found that €70, a €50 note and a €20 note, which had been on her kitchen was missing.

She informed Gardai and they arrested McDonagh, of College Row, Letterkenny, and his son just four minutes away from Ms McDaid’s apartment.

Mr McDonagh Jnr had both a €50 and €20 note in his jacket pocket. Both men were intoxicated.

The court heard how Mr McDonagh Snr was friendly with Ms McDaid whom he had met in Alcoholic’s Anonymous and often went for coffee together. Ms McDaid also said they smoked cannabis together.

The court heard how McDonagh Snr often called to Ms McDaid and had fixed a blind for her and she asked him to paint her apartment.

Ms McDaid revealed how she suspected McDonagh of taking a key to her apartment but how he would never enter her apartment when she was not there.

Barrister for McDonagh Snr, Sean MacAodhna, said that although it was accepted the money was found on McDonagh Jnr, there is no evidence that he acted in concert with his son while in the apartment.

The jury took just fifteen minutes of deliberation to find McDonagh guilty of the charge.

McDonagh, whom the court was told has 23 previous convictions, will be sentenced by Judge Martin Nolan next Tuesday.