Three accused of burglary ‘fled’ rural home after finding man asleep

Four men appear in court in Ennis over incident at farmhouse in Co Clare

Three men accused of taking part in an attempted burglary at a rural Co Clare farmhouse are alleged to have fled after discovering a man in his 90s asleep in the property, a court heard.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Three men accused of taking part in an attempted burglary at a rural Co Clare farmhouse are alleged to have fled after discovering a man in his 90s asleep in the property, a court heard. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

Three men accused of taking part in an attempted burglary at a rural Co Clare farmhouse are alleged to have fled after discovering a man in his 90s asleep in the property.

A special sitting of Ennis District Court on Saturday heard the charges against three members of a Limerick family and a fourth man over the incident at Ballyveskil, Tiermaclane near Ennis on Friday.

Garda Insp Kieran Ruane said it would be alleged that John Woodland lured Vincent O’Connor away from his home to a nearby field on the pretence of buying silage.

Det Garda Gary Stack said that John Woodland (38) had first contacted Mr O’Connor concerning purchasing silage in December.

The court heard it would be further alleged that while John Woodland was speaking to Mr O’Connor, father and son, Patrick Woodland (43) and Edward Woodland (18) both of Greenmount Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, along with Paul Kiely (30) of Glencairn, Dooradadoyle, forcibly entered the home.

However, when the three came across Mr O’Connor’s elderly father, they fled. The court heard that the man’s sleep was undisturbed.

Foot chase

Det Garda Stack said the three were caught by gardaí after a short foot chase in a nearby field. Gardaí also apprehended John Woodland of Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra Avenue, Limerick.

Det Garda Stack said gardaí had seized a number of mobile phones and that the traffic on these would show that the operation was planned. There was a Garda surveillance operation in the area at the time

Gardaí opposed bail for all four based on the strength of the evidence against the four and the nature of the offence. A charge of burglary carries a sentence of 14 years in jail, the court heard.

Judge Mary Larkin remanded brothers, Patrick and John Woodland in custody to appear via video link at Ennis District Court on next Wednesday. Judge Larkin ordered that Mr Kiely and Edward Woodland required an independent surety to be approved by the court and they were also taken away in custody and will obtain bail when an independent surety is approved.

Mr Kiely and Edward Woodland were also remanded to appear at Ennis District Court next Wednesday.