Man jailed for theft of Connemara ponies


A MAN who borrowed a parish priest's horse box to steal Connemara ponies near Clifden, Co Galway, has been jailed for five years by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Gerard Buchanan was told that Ivor Cochrane had been jailed for five years by the court in 1989 for cattle rustling. He had also received a three year suspended sentence in 1994 for larceny of a motor vehicle.

Two Connemara ponies stolen by Cochrane were found four days later at the monthly Smithfield horse market in Dublin. One of the owners and other people from Clifden had gone to the fair in expectation that the ponies might come up for sale, Gardai made two arrests there and others later,

Cochrane (34), married with one child, with addresses at Shanliss Grove and Fairlawn Park, Dublin, and originally from Northern Ireland, admitted four charges of stealing horses and ponies in 1993 and 1994. He had a total of eight previous convictions.

He pleaded guilty to stealing a Connemara pony mare valued at £3,000, the property of Ms Stephanie Brooks, Errislannon, and a pony valued at £2,000, the property of Mr Stephen Heanue, Bridge Street, Clifden, on February 2nd, 1994.

Cochrane also pleaded guilty to stealing two horses at Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, and Ashbourne, Co Meath, in December 1993 and January 1994, the property of Mr Valentine Good.

Judge Buchanan said that he had no doubt Cochrane was the instigator of the crime. His previous convictions were for larceny, robbery and receiving. He would be failing in his duty to the public if he did not jail him with a five year sentence on each charge, to run concurrently,

Two men from Malahide, Co Dublin, also pleaded guilty to charges related to the two stolen ponies. William Hunt (26), of Bawn Grove, and Garrett Browne (19), of Seapark, admitted handling the ponies at Smithfield on February 6th, 1994. Judge Buchanan remanded Hunt in custody for sentence on July 29th and imposed a six month suspended sentence on Browne.