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Man who terrified Fanad couple throughout house invasion jailed for 7 years

A person who broke into the house of a Co Donegal couple and attacked them with a poker and a wheel brace has been jailed for seven years.

James Gallagher referred to as to the house of Edward and Rose Sweeney at Doagh Beg, Fanad on the night of September twenty third, 2018.

Together with one other intruder, they burst their method into the distant farmhouse and terrified the middle-aged couple.

The boys then started shouting and roaring in regards to the whereabouts of a white van and demanding €15,000.

The couple had been then subjected to a horrific ordeal which noticed Mr Sweeney attacked and crushed with a poker after which he needed to be hospitalised.

The couple’s house was additionally ransacked through the terrifying house invasion.

Gallagher, a 37-year-old profession felony from Cushlawn Park in Tallaght in Dublin, appeared earlier than Letterkenny Circuit Court docket charged with aggravated housebreaking.

Particulars of the couple’s ordeal got in court docket by Garda Sergeant Gerard Dalton.

Mrs Sweeney was on the cellphone and Mr Sweeney was feeding a sick calf when the 2 thugs arrived at their house.

They started shouting a couple of white van and €15,000 with Mrs Sweeney stating later that her son owned a white van.

Mrs Sweeney stated she was “dragged exterior” and the boys had been ‘effing and blinding’ and demanding cash.

As soon as they got here throughout Mr Sweeney they started to assault him with a poker and a wheel brace leaving him lined in cuts and bruises.

The boys additionally ransacked the home damaging footage, a lamp and a tv and took the couple’s two cellphones with them as they left.

Additionally they smashed the couple’s sitting room window.

Mrs Sweeney alerted a neighbour who contacted Gardai and a hunt for the 2 intruders was launched instantly.

A few hours later that night tow males had been arrested by the PSNI in Strabane after Gardai alerted their counterparts in Northern Eire.

The boys had been present in possession of two cellphones, a poker, a wheel brace, a screwdriver and matched an outline put out by Gardai.

A poker on the rear seat of the automotive was examined and was discovered to sufferer Edward Sweeney’s blood on it.

Gallagher was arrested and spent a while on remand in jail in Northern Eire.

The court docket was informed that on August twenty sixth, 2019 at Cloverhill Jail in Dublin, Gallagher was arrested and brought to Tallaght Garda Station for interview in regards to the housebreaking however made no remark when interviewed.

Nonetheless, clothes seized by the PSNI was given to Gardai and DNA and forensics carried out confirmed a gray hoodie worn by the accused had Edward Sweeney’s blood on it.

Sergeant Dalton stated that though the Sweeneys had been conscious the case was ongoing, they didn’t need to present sufferer impression statements however simply “need to get the scenario behind them.”

A medical report on Mr Sweeney confirmed that he suffered a number of cuts and bruises to his face and physique and in addition needed to obtain various staples to an damage on prime of his head after his ordeal.

Barrister for Gallagher, Ms Fiona Pekaar, stated her consumer had left college at 14 and had skilled a lifetime of offending which had turn out to be extra severe in recent times.

An in depth good friend had died fro a drug overdose in his arms in 2008 and this appeared to set him off on a ten 12 months crime spree till 2018.

Nonetheless, he has a really supportive companion and 5 youngsters and is making an attempt to vary having been in jail since late 2018.

He has say his Junior Certificates in jail and hopes to go on to sit down his Leaving Certificates additionally.

Ms Pekaar added that Gallagher realises he faces a considerable sentence however she requested Decide John Aylmer to “depart the door open for him.”

As soon as launched from jail he plans to maneuver in along with his companion and transfer distant from the individuals he has beforehand blended with.

She stated “He is aware of that when he leaves jail he must hit the bottom operating and he needs to get work so by no means to be sucked into this life once more.”

A letter written by Gallagher’s eldest daughter was handed into court docket which stated she has seen a serious change in her father since he went into jail.

Passing sentence Decide Aylmer stated there have been various aggravating options of what was a “very violent confrontation.”

He famous that Mr Sweeney, particularly, had suffered a reasonably extreme beating with a number of steel weapons.

Earlier than mitigation he positioned the crime on the higher finish of the size of such offences and one which merited a sentence of 12 years in jail.

In mitigation he stated Gallagher had pleaded responsible however stated there was a powerful forensic case in opposition to him and that he additionally seems to be genuinely remorseful.

He additionally famous that he has the help of his household with whom he needs to re-engage with and that he additionally needs to work as soon as he will get launched from jail and that he’s a very good and father.

To present him credit score for these efforts, Decide Aylmer decreased the headline sentence to considered one of 9 years in jail.

He additionally stated he wants to present Gallagher hope for the longer term and agreed to droop the ultimate two years of that sentence on settlement that he enter a bond to maintain the peace for 2 years as soon as launched and go underneath the care of the Probation Companies.

He additionally backdated the seven 12 months sentence to October 18th, 2022 when Gallagher went into custody for these offences.

“There may be a whole lot of work to be finished for Mr Gallagher,” added Decide Aylmer.

Man who terrified Fanad couple throughout house invasion jailed for 7 years was final modified: July sixth, 2023 by Workers Author