Man remanded over Cork machete robberies

Judge accepts garda objection to bail application due to seriousness of charges

A 30 year-old man has been remanded in custody in connection with a robbery and an attempted robbery involving the use of a machete.

Brian Veale, a native of Dungarvan, Co Waterford but with an address at Dominick Street in Cork city, made his second court appearance on Thursday in connection with the two incidents.

On Saturday, Mr Veale appeared at a special sitting of Cork District Court charged with the robbery of an American student on Dominick Street in Cork on February 26th.

He was also charged with the attempted robbery of a man also on Dominick Street on the same night and was remanded in custody on both charges to appear in court again on Thursday.


Solicitor for Mr Veale, Eddie Burke yesterday said that his client was applying for bail on both charges but Insp Finbarr O'Sullivan said that An Garda Síochána would oppose any bail application.

Det Sgt Vincent O’Sullivan said that one of the grounds of the Garda objection to bail was the seriousness of the charges against Mr Veale and he gave an outline of the alleged incidents.

He said the State would allege that Mr Veale had been seen on Dominick Street carrying a two-foot-long machete with an 18 inch blade moments before a man was attacked.

The man was struck on the back of the head by an assailant armed with a machete in an unprovoked attack and he suffered a wound that required eleven staples to seal it, said Det Sgt O’Sullivan.

The State would also allege that a 19 year-old American student was also attacked and robbed of her handbag by a man armed with a machete just minutes later at the other end of Dominick Street.

The assailant swung the machete at the girl’s head as he tried to grab her handbag and she suffered a wound that required three staples while she also suffered a fractured skull, he told the court.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan said that two men intervened and the assailant dropped the machete which was found nearby by gardaí who arrested Mr Veale shortly afterwards near Shandon Street.

Mr Burke said that his client was entitled to a presumption of innocence and Det Sgt O’Sullivan agreed, stressing that what he had outlined were allegations at this point.

Mr Veale told the court that he was a heroin addict with the last eight months but he had improved since going into prison at the weekend and going on a methadone programme.

He had been unable to access a methadone programme prior to this but had made efforts to give up the drug including contacting a counsellor as he was “sick of this life, sick of heroin”.

He said that he felt a lot better since going on methadone and he would abide by any bail conditions set by the court including signing on twice daily and observing a curfew.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan agreed with Mr Burke that Mr Veale was much improved since going on methadone in prison but he was concerned about what might happen if he was given bail.

He was particularly concerned that he might relapse into using heroin again if released on bail and gardai might find themselves with another serious incident to investigate, he said.

Judge Grainne O’Neill said that in light of the seriousness of the charge, she was refusing bail and she remanded Mr Veale in custody to appear again in court on March 19th.

Another man, Dean O'Driscoll (24) from Dominick Street also made his second court appearance on a charge of robbing a woman on Gerald Griffin Street on February 22nd.

Mr O'Driscoll was previously refused bail by Judge Olann Kelleher and Judge O'Neill remanded Mr O'Driscoll in continuing custody to also appear in court on March 19th.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times