Man sentenced over knifepoint robbery in Longford town

John Kelly (34) is already serving four-year jail term for separate burglary

A man who posed as a garda during an aggravated burglary in Longford town during which a man and woman were held at knifepoint has been jailed for five years.

John Kelly (34). a father of nine from Cluain Ard, Ardnacassa, Co Longford pleaded guilty to robbing Luis De Silva and Kit de Long at Weaver’s Hall, Market Square, Longford during the early hours of June 3rd last year.

Donna McDermott (37), with addresses at Cluain Ard, Ardncassa and Springlawn, Longford pleaded guilty to the same offence at a previous court sitting and had been due for sentencing. However, the court heard that despite a bench warrant being issued for her arrest, she was still at large.

Counsel for the prosecution, Shane Geraghty BL, told of how Mr De Silva, who had only moved into the apartment complex two weeks previously, awoke to banging noises outside. Upon opening the door, he was confronted by two men, one of whom was brandishing a kitchen knife. McDermott was also present.


The court also heard how Kelly had tried to masquerade as a garda with Mr De Silva recalling how the accused had a piece of paper in his hand which had been presented as a bogus search warrant.

Mr De Silva managed to escape through a window.

Details from a statement provided by Ms de Long was also read into court in which she explained how she was suddenly woken in her bedroom where she found two men and a woman standing over her.

The court heard Ms de Long was able to identify Kelly, who sported a cap and dark raincoat, by a small scar under his left eye. The raiders fled with a wallet containing €850, a mobile phone and some jewellery.

Gardaí found the phone in the possession of Kelly in the same apartment complex a day later.

It was accepted in court that while it was Kelly’s male co-accused who was armed with the knife, Mr De Silva told gardaí he was convinced his life was in danger.

The court heard Kelly had 71 previous convictions and was on bail in connection to a separate robbery carried out in Dublin at the time of the raid.

Judge Johnson was informed he had since been sentenced to four years in prison for that offence and was not due for release until June 2025.

Judge Johnson imposed a five year sentence to run consecutively to the four year term Kelly is already serving. The final 18 months were suspended for five years.