herald

Friday 24 January 2020

Two charged after mini-bus stolen from airport with tourists inside

Stephen (pictured) and John McDonagh were charged over the theft of a vehicle from Dublin Airport
Stephen (pictured) and John McDonagh were charged over the theft of a vehicle from Dublin Airport
John McDonagh

Two men have been charged with vehicle theft after a minibus carrying three tourists was stolen from Dublin Airport and chased by gardai and the PSNI.

The Carlton Hotel minibus eventually crashed and was abandoned in Monaghan before a car was stolen. It too was chased by gardai.

Stephen McDonagh (25) and John McDonagh (26), of The Steeples, Navan, Co Meath, appeared before Judge Denis McLoughlin at Cavan District Court yesterday on multiple charges arising from the airport incident and others allegedly committed in recent weeks in Monaghan and Meath.

Det Gda Ciaran Marks of Carrickmacross Garda Station said John McDonagh made no reply when charged with two counts of unauthorised taking of ve- hicles in Dublin and Monaghan; two counts of burglary; three of theft; an unauthorised taking of a vehicle; and four road traffic offences in recent weeks in Meath and Monaghan.

Det Gda Karen Mullen said Stephen McDonagh also made no response when charged with two counts of unauthorised taking of vehicles in Dublin and Monaghan; one count of burglary; two of unauthorised takings of vehicles; and one theft in recent weeks in Meath and Monaghan.

Seriousness

John McDonagh made an application for bail, which was opposed by Det Gda Marks.

He outlined the seriousness of the charges against John McDonagh, and also how the accused can be seen on CCTV at the Carlton Hotel and Dublin Airport on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Det Gda Marks said it is alleged that the driver of the bus left it at Dublin Airport and the accused and his co-accused drove it away with the side door open while there were three passengers on board.

Two were UK students returning from a scouting trip to the US. The third was a Colombian woman travelling to Germany.

The mini-bus was in a collision with a taxi near the airport and then left the scene, being driven erratically towards the north.

Det Gda Marks said demands for money were made of the passengers, who declined to pay before exiting the vehicle.

He said the bus was then driven north and rammed a garda patrol car before being driven across the border and ramming a PSNI vehicle.

Det Gda Marks said the bus then returned to the Republic, into Co Monaghan, and was followed by gardai before it crashed.

The detective said two men were seen running from it to a private house, where a Seat car was stolen.

It was involved in a high-speed chase before ramming an armed support unit vehicle, resulting in both vehicles crashing into a barrier.

Det Gda Marks told the judge it was likely that further charges would follow.

Judge McLoughlin denied John McDonagh bail, and both men were remanded in custody to appear again at Cloverhill District Court next Thursday.

John McDonagh wore a green jacket with a hood and green trousers while being led to court.

Stephen McDonagh wore a dark grey zip-up fleece and navy blue tracksuit bottoms but then changed to light grey tracksuit bottoms.

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