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Friday 21 September 2018

Traveller burglar had 'hard life' after coming out as gay

Gay Traveller Michael Connors was jailed for five months
Gay Traveller Michael Connors was jailed for five months

A burglar caught after he stole cash from a charity shop had had a "very hard" life as a gay Traveller, a court heard.

Michael Connors (25) was jailed for five months after a judge said the crime was "reprehensible" and a prison sentence was "long overdue" for him.

Connors, of St Mary's Close, Belgard Road, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to burglary at the St Vincent de Paul shop, Clondalkin, on March 21 last year.

Sgt Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court the accused went into the shop with another person and a child and entered the staff office on three occasions without permission, taking €200 in cash.

Connors was identified on CCTV and subsequently arrested.

He was detained and made full admissions to the gardai. The money was not recovered.

Negative

The court heard the defendant had 33 convictions for theft and motoring offences. He had previously been given the benefit of the Probation Act, community service and a suspended sentence.

His previous cases had been dealt with in court, including Tullamore, Bray and in the UK.

Connors had a "negative past history" but was now fully engaged with the Probation Service, his barrister Alan Delaney said.

He added that Connors had a "very hard" life as a gay Traveller. His family had disowned him, but his father had now finally accepted him.

Connors had taken on a "high-profile" job in which he needed to drive.

He had been abusing alcohol and drugs at the time of the offence.

Mr Delaney asked the judge to allow the accused to continue to deal with the Probation Service.

Sentencing him, Judge Mc- Hugh said the jail term was "well overdue".

"This is absolutely reprehensible," the judge said of the theft.

"He has received the indulgence of the court on previous occasions."

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