Two jailed for attempted armed robbery

Two men who attempted an armed robbery of a bookmaker as he travelled back to his office from the Irish Grand National have been jailed for a total of 15 years by Judge Katherine Delahunt.

Anthony Callaghan (aged 40), of Hazelbury Park, Clonee was jailed for eight years and Eddie Farrell (aged 35) of De La Salle Court, Wicklow for seven years for their roles in what Judge Delahunt described as "a well planned, attempted armed robbery which was fortunately foiled by the gardaí".

Detective Garda Donal Tully told prosecuting counsel, Mr Paul Carroll BL, that gardaí foiled the planned robbery after receiving confidential information and launching a comprehensive surveillance operation.

Both pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the attempted armed robbery of Mr John Carthy of Chronicle Bookmakers and to possession of firearms on Deansgrange Road on April 17, 2006.

Callaghan also pleaded guilty to allowing himself to be carried in a stolen car and Farrell to possession of cocaine valued at €5,551 at his home on the same date.

Judge Delahunt also noted from a victim impact report that the events that day had a "very traumatic effect" on Mr Carthy and had led to a "change in his lifestyle and personality".

Det Gda Tully said earlier that Mr Carthy had been adversely effected by the incident and was nervous of strange cars.

Two co-accused in the case, Gerard Claxton (aged 31) of Bramblefield Park, Clonee and Noel Boylan (aged 32) of Fortlawn Park, Blanchardstown, were jailed for eight years by Judge Michael White last March.

A fifth man, Anthony Lea (aged 31) of Fortlawn Avenue, Blanchardstown, who was to act as the getaway driver, was given a five-year sentence by Judge White.

Det Gda Tully said Mr Carthy was working at his pitch at Fairyhouse when told of the plot to rob him.

He put €10,000 of takings into a bag and drove back to his office with Det Gda Tully hidden in the back of his jeep which was followed by Farrell who was reporting his movements to the other men.

Det Gda Tully said gardaí were simultaneously watching a stolen silver Mercedes which was parked in Foxrock while Claxton, Boylan, Lea and Callaghan were seen driving Claxton’s car around the area for one hour before the raid.

The men then got into the stolen Mercedes , drove to Deansgrange Road and parked near Mr Carthy’s office.

Mr Carthy arrived there, opened his office, turned off the alarm and returned to his vehicle when Claxton, Boylan and Callaghan appeared "roaring and screaming" with their faces "well covered".

Det Gda Tully said Claxton was armed with a handgun and Boylan had a stun gun when they demanded money from Mr Carthy who was in fear of his life.

Det Gda Tully said he then got out of the jeep, warned the men he was armed and told them to drop their weapons. Boylan jumped into the air, ran into the bookies’ office and ran back out before he was arrested by other gardaí at the scene. Callaghan dropped to the ground immediately.

Claxton continued to point his gun at Mr Carthy and Det Gda Tully said he was in fear of his life as Claxton continued to refuse to drop his weapon. He then tackled Claxton to the ground and kicked his gun away.

Lea drove off in the stolen car when gardaí appeared, but was caught in a nearby housing estate.

Det Gda Tully said cocaine valued at €5,551 was found at Farrell’s home during a search later that day.

Mr Anthony Sammon SC, defending Farrell, said his client, a father of two, had got involved in the robbery because he owed "someone" a "large favour".

He said he was not one of the "prime organisers" and was a decent man who had earned a living as a fisherman until recently.

Mr Hugh Hartnett SC, defending Callaghan, said he was a separated father-of-one who had an extensive work history, but his "chaotic use of cocaine" had lead to his involvement in this escapade.

He was now drug free and asked the court to show as much leniency as possible.

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