undercover probe | 

How a notorious burglary gang were nabbed after stealing €200 and a child’s runners

Brother of thief Dean Maguire, whose funeral hit headlines in 2021, was also before court

The men before court were: Edward Wall, left; Patrick Wall, top; Andrew Wall, right; and Noel Maguire, bottom

Noel Maguire

Patrick Wall

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

A brother of dead burglar Dean Maguire, whose funeral last year made international headlines, was arrested with other gang members after targeting a family just days before Christmas.

Getaway driver Noel Maguire and his gang even stole a pair of trainers belonging to a young child while their every move was being watched by gardaí.

Four members of the Cock Wall burglary gang appeared before Carlow Circuit Court this week following a garda operation against criminals targeting the homes of Asian business owners.

The burglars had aimed to steal the takings of the family’s restaurant, but got away with only €200 in coins and a pair of runners before they were arrested.

Two of the thieves were on bail when they travelled to Carlow in a high-powered car to carry out the crime.

All four admitted burglary at the house at The Willows, Carlow, on December 19, 2019.

Edward Wall (31), of Newtown Park, Tallaght, Dublin, was jailed for five-and-a-half-years, while his cousin Patrick Wall (22), of Fortunestown Lane, also Tallaght, was given a fully suspended three-and-a-half-year term.

Their associates, Noel Maguire (34), of Tree Park Drive, and Andrew Wall (24), of Newtown Park, both Tallaght, will be sentenced next year.

Maguire’s younger brother Dean died in a crash on the N7 last year when the car he was in drove on the wrong side of the road and ploughed into a truck.

He was a prolific burglar who was eulogised at his funeral for his crimes. Floral tributes in the form of screwdrivers and torches were placed on the altar.

Detective Garda David Moran, of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), told Carlow Circuit Court this week about the garda operation.

He said it had been put in place against a gang targeting residential addresses of business owners, with a particular focus on Asian people.

The detective told Niall Storan, prosecuting, how five members of the gang left Tallaght one morning in a Mazda MPS car.

Gardaí learned the car was to be used in serious crime, so it was tracked by undercover detectives travelling from Dublin to Carlow.

On the way, it was seen stopping, with the occupants changing the car’s registration plates.

At around 6pm, gardaí saw four members leaving a house in The Willows estate and jumping over a wall into the adjacent Hunters Green estate, where the Mazda was waiting.

The court was told the home was unoccupied and the gang were targeting the takings from the restaurant.

However, all they managed to steal was €200 in coins and runners belonging to the homeowners’ seven-year-old son.

All five males were arrested a short time later, including a juvenile not before the court.

When gardaí searched the Mazda they recovered the stolen items along with hats, gloves, cleaning products, an axe, two screwdrivers, a steel-breaking tool and two false registration plates.

The five were detained but refused to answer any questions and were later charged.

Patrick Wall

The court heard shoe prints taken from the homeowners’ kitchen matched runners seized from Patrick Wall.

All four pleaded guilty last July to the burglary.

Det Gda Moran told the court Patrick Wall had no previous convictions.

Eamon O’Moore, defending Wall, said he had addiction issues and was attending Christian fellowship meetings while he is also running a tarmac business in the UK.

His cousin, Edward Wall, has 33 previous convictions including burglary, handling stolen property and theft. He was on bail at the time of the Carlow burglary.

He is also serving a separate sentence and is the only accused currently in custody.

Carol Doherty, defending Edward Wall, said her client had €1,000 in court as reparation for the victim and handed in testimonials on his behalf.

Andrew Wall had four previous convictions, which were all before the Circuit Court and included two convictions for burglary. He was on bail at the time of the Carlow raid.

His defence is awaiting probation reports for him and sentencing was adjourned.

The driver of the car, Noel Maguire, has 53 previous convictions, including several burglary-related crimes in Ireland and the UK.

His defence counsel said he had recently suffered trauma in his life and, as he was awaiting counselling, asked for sentencing to be adjourned.

Maguire’s brother, Dean, died last year when he and two other men were in a car that was driven the wrong way down the N7 before it ploughed into a truck.

Dean Maguire had around 30 previous convictions and was known to gardaí for involvement in burglaries.

His funeral at St Mary’s Priory church in Tallaght made international headlines after a screwdriver and torch – tools associated with burglars – were brought to the altar as offertory gifts. One woman who delivered a eulogy said he would not be forgotten, before adding: “Sorry for the language, Father – rest in peace, you f***ing legend.”

At Carlow Circuit Court, Judge Eugene O’Kelly said all four men before the court were members of a criminal gang involved in a premeditated burglary targeting residential property.

Noel Maguire

The changing the number plates on route to Carlow in an attempt to frustrate the investigation was another significant aggravating factor.

Judge O’Kelly said they were forensically “well aware”, having altered the plates so as not to be captured on CCTV footage, which was “serious”.

The use of the motorway system, which gave them easy access to towns, was also a feature of the case.

He also referred to a previous Court of Appeal judgment that noted the burglaries of private residences were the “scourge” of society and undermined people feeling safe in their own home.

Judge O’Kelly said Edward Wall had relevant convictions in Clonmel, Naas and Dundalk, which showed he “doesn’t limit his offending to one geographical area”.

Taking into account several factors, including his guilty plea and the €1,000 he was offering to the injured party showing “some element of remorse”, he sentenced him to six years imprisonment with the final six months suspended.

Judge O’Kelly said the aggravating factors for Edward Wall were not shared with his cousin, Patrick, who is considerably younger and had no previous convictions.

The Probation Service also said he was at a low risk of reoffending, with the judge remarking that he was “under the influence of older criminalised relatives”.

The judge said he “may be criticised” in the higher courts if the DPP appealed the sentence, but added that he was prepared to take a risk on Patrick Wall and sentenced him to three-and-a-half years fully suspended.

He warned the defendant the suspended sentence would be reactivated if he came before the courts again.

Noel Maguire and Andrew Wall are due to be sentenced next February.

Family members of all four men were in court to support them.

The Cock Wall gang have more than 70 criminal associates based mainly between Dublin and Kildare.

Their leadership includes a 50-year-old career criminal and leading member of the group who has been under investigation for leading a five-man cell raiding homes across the country.

He cannot be identified as he is facing charges before the courts.

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