Man who burgled Irish rugby coach’s home spared jail sentence
Heineken Cup winner’s medal stolen from Joe Schmidt’s home
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.
A Dublin man who burgled Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt’s house and stole one of his Heineken Cup winner’s medals has been spared a jail sentence.
At Tallaght District Court yesterday, Judge Anthony Halpin heard the gold Heineken Cup medal Fergus Donegan and two others stole was recovered “in pristine condition”.
The burglary took place on December 9th, 2012 as Leinster – who were being coached by Schmidt at the time – were playing Clermont-Auvergne in France in the Heineken Cup.
Donegan (46), of Nutgrove Crescent, Rathfarnham, had pleaded guilty to burglary at an address at Braemor Park in Churchtown, and to possession of black gloves and a torch for use in theft at an address at Orwell Court, Churchtown, both on December 9th.
Donegan’s co-accused, Christy Connors (20), Green Street, Wexford, pleaded guilty three months ago to burglary and was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service with six months’ detention in default.
Donegan’s trial heard gardaí had been on patrol at Orwell Court on the date of the burglary when they spotted three men acting suspiciously. After the men got into a Ford Fiesta, gardaí confronted them and asked to search the car. They found a gold Heineken Cup winner’s medal, £15 in sterling, two screwdrivers, two pairs of gloves and a piece of hard green plastic for blocking doors. The medal and cash had been stolen from Schmidt’s home.
The court had heard Donegan had 50 previous convictions.
Donegan’s lawyer, Michael Hennessy, asked the judge to spare Donegan a prison sentence for the good of his children. Judge Halpin placed Donegan on a peace bond of €750 for two years.