Former All-Ireland champion Daniel O'Callaghan jailed for 10 years over ATM thefts

Daniel O'Callaghan was a club football champion who played for Crossmaglen Rangers.

A former All-Ireland club football champion has been jailed in Dublin for 10 years for his role in a number of ATM robberies.

Daniel O'Callaghan, who is 32 and from Crossmaglen in Co Armagh, was found guilty last month of being involved with a cross-border criminal gang.

The gang used a certain modus operandi which was to rip ATMs out of the walls of business premises in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath, in late 2018 and 2019.

During those raids the gang stole what the court described as the eye-watering sum of €790,000.

However, in the early hours of 14 August 2019, gardai foiled an attempt to steal the ATM at the Rivercourt Hotel in Virginia, Co Cavan.

Three men ran from the scene - one of them was Daniel O'Callaghan, who was identified by two specialist officers as he ran and climbed over a wall.

He was arrested, tried this year and found guilty on all 16 counts against him including theft, money laundering and possession of stolen cash.

On Monday the Special Criminal Court in Dublin jailed him for 10 years stating that he played a key role and had knowledge and control over the stolen money.

Ms Justice Tara described this as an audacious operation, carefully and meticulously planned by a well-oiled criminal organisation.

The court concluded that Daniel O'Callaghan was intimately involved in the workings of the gang, that he played a central role as a planner and was an active member of the group.

Four other men have also been sentenced in connection with the operation.

Last year, 39-year-old Niall Finnegan of Cherry Grove, Cullyhanna, was jailed for three years for possessing stolen cash.

Ciaran Duffy, aged 28 and from Loughnamore in Co Monaghan, jumped out of the digger in Virginia and hid for some 12 hours in the forest until armed gardai followed him into the Rivercourt Hotel and arrested him in the bathroom.

His brother, 31-year-old Gerard Duffy, with the same address, was arrested at the scene in Virginia and a third brother, 35-year-old Stephen Duffy, was arrested a few days later moving cash from the thefts.

The three brothers were jailed for a total of 19-and-a-half years last week, after they pleaded guilty to their roles.