Pub patrons come to German tourist’s aid

Thief tracked to Limerick-bound bus in Eyre Square

Eyre Square, in Galway: Patrons at Sally Long’s pub in Abbeygate Street found the thief in a bus in the square. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Eyre Square, in Galway: Patrons at Sally Long’s pub in Abbeygate Street found the thief in a bus in the square. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

Pub patrons showed their civic spirit when they came to the aid of a distraught German tourist who had had her belongings stolen.

Patrons at Sally Long’s pub in Abbeygate Street, Galway, tracked the thief down to Eyre Square where they found him on a bus bound for Limerick and kept him in their sights until gardaí arrived to arrest him.

Christopher Murphy (43), Caherdavin, Limerick, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to the theft of the woman’s clothing valued at €200, her €2,000 camera and her wallet containing €70 on May 27th last year.

Garda Insp Kevin Gately told the court that Murphy and his partner befriended the woman in the pub earlier that day and the three of them had had a few drinks together. He said a distraction- type theft occurred when the man’s partner and the tourist went to the toilet and Murphy took the opportunity to make off with the woman’s belongings.

The other patrons became annoyed at what had happened when they saw her in a distressed state and they decided to search for the thief. They tracked him to the bus station where they found him on a bus bound for Limerick.

Murphy had left the woman’s belongings in a taxi when he was confronted by the patrons from the pub and had hurriedly boarded the bus, Insp Gately said.

Murphy had 35 previous convictions. While the tourist’s clothes and camera were recovered, her wallet containing €70 was not. Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said her client had a drink problem and was inebriated at the time of this offence which was not premeditated.

Describing the theft as “opportunistic and bungled”, Judge Timothy Lucey sentenced Murphy to four months in prison, which he suspended for one year.