Homeless campaigner on 12-month probation bond

Margaret Cash pleaded guilty to shop lifting

Margaret Cash speaking outside Leinster House earlier this year. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A homelessness campaigner who spent the night in the public office of Tallaght Garda Station with her children was placed on a 12-month probation bond on Thursday by Tallaght District Court.

Margaret Cash was due before Judge Patricia McNamara for a probation report.

Cash, (28), Westpark Gate, Tallaght, had pleaded guilty to stealing clothing worth €321 from Penneys, Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, on February 17, 2018.

Judge McNamara commented that Cash had 38 previous convictions and was a homeless mother of seven children.


She asked Sergeant Michael Ahern if Cash had come to the attention of the gardaí since the incident.

Sgt Ahern replied: “No”.

He said that in relation to the theft from Penneys that the property had not been recovered.

Judge McNamara told Cash: “ I have read the probation report and I see that there are are issues in your background and your personal circumstances which cannot be ignored but you cannot go around committing thefts. What would happen to your children if you were to go to jail?”

Judge McNamara said she would deal with the case by way of Section 1.1 (2) of the Probation Act. She placed Cash on a Probation Bond of €100 for 12 months and on condition that she engages with the Probation Services and the Restorative Justice Services.