The armed Regional Support Unit of An Garda Síochána from Waterford came across the car at Lisnalanive, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, on February 13 and the brothers were arrested after a struggle.
A jury found them not guilty of obstructing the officers but guilty of possessing house-breaking equipment with intent to commit a crime and also carrying a weapon, namely a Taser.
Judge Gerard O’Brien said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court: “They were caught in the darkness of night and there was a sinister possibility of a crime about to be committed. These types of offences are extremely sinister and add to people’s sense of unease in society.”
Duane O’Callaghan, aged 40, of 8 The Cloisters, St. John’s Hill, Waterford, was jailed for 18 months with the last six months suspended. His brother, Jonathan Lindsay O’Callaghan, aged 32, of 6 Meadowbrook, Tramore, Co Waterford, was jailed for 12 months, with the last six months suspended. The older man had more previous convictions. Both had previous counts for burglary.
Sergeant James Hallahan said the armed unit encountered the car on a quiet country road on the night.
In the car there was a pillowcase containing items including torch, safety glasses, gloves and snood, all believed to be in their possession for the commission of the crime of burglary. A Taser was also found and they were convicted separately of having that as a weapon.
Des Hayes, defending, said Duane O’Callaghan had come off heroin and went on a methadone treatment programme. Sian Langley, defending, said the younger man also had addiction issues and he did not want his own children to have the life that he had growing up and he wanted to change his life for their benefit.
“He is sorry for these offences,” Ms Langley said.
Judge O’Brien noted this remorse from Lindsay O’Callaghan which he contrasted with the absence of any remorse from the older brother.
By Liam Heylin Irish Examiner