Men appear on burglary charges

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

Two men appeared before Derry Magistrate’s Court today charged in connection with a series of burglaries in the city.

Michael Burke (49) of Eglinton Terrace and Rory William Monaghan (42) of Dove Gardens faced charges in relation to burglaries at the Men’s Action Network and in the old City Factory on dates between August 8 and August 12.

Burke also faces a charge of possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances on August 16.

A police officer connected the men to the charges and opposed bail.

The court heard that on two separate occasions premises in the Old City Factory were broken into and various items including tools and a cash box were taken. Following one of the burglaries, a bank card with the name M Burke on it was found.

The court was told that on August 16, CCTV at Sainsbury’s noticed two men with their faces covered.

When police approached the two, Burke and Monaghan allegedly discarded various items such as an angle grinder and other tools.

Searches were carried out in the homes of both men and in Burke’s home a firearm was allegedly found as well as medical equipment and other items.

The officer objected to bail on the grounds that Monaghan had 51 previous convictions with some of them relevant and Burke had 34 previous. He said there was a danger they could re-offended.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin for Burke asked what was outstanding in the investigation and was told it was forensics and CCTV.

He asked how long could it take for the forensics to be examined and was told several months. Mr. Devlin said that with appropriate conditions the risks in the case could be managed.

Defence counsel Stephen Mooney for Monaghan said his client could also be managed.

District Judge Ted Magill said it was unclear if this case was going to end up in the Magistrate’s Court or the Crown Court.

He released the two on bail on condition that they be tagged and observe a curfew.

They will appear again on September 12.