Belfast Telegraph

Couple accused of targeting Enniskillen hotels and golf clubs during burglary spree

By Staff Reporter

A couple have appeared in court in relation to a spate of "opportunistic burglaries" across Enniskillen.

Standing together in the dock of Dungannon Magistrates Court were Simon Anthony McDonagh and his partner Louise McDonagh (22), both from Main Street, Clogher.

Mr McDonagh is accused of 10 charges and Ms McDonagh is accused of seven, both including burglary, attempted burglary and theft.

During an alleged spree the couple are said to have targeted properties in Enniskillen involving the Westville Hotel, the Enniskillen Hotel, Castle Hume Golf Club and several areas within Lough Erne Golf Resort including the golf club and accommodation.

There are also charges relating to the theft of alloy wheels from a parked car, and Mr McDonagh is facing several motoring allegations.

Most of the alleged offences at residential accommodation premises occurred during the early hours of the morning, and centred on Mr McDonagh claiming to be seeking to book a room.

A police officer confirmed charges against both accused could be connected.

Outlining the details of what she referred to as "a plethora of offences", she said police received a report of a burglary at the Enniskillen Hotel around 2am on May 31.

Then on June 11 staff at Lough Erne Golf Resort Hotel encountered Mr McDonagh in a private area, and he enquired about a room, but left on being told none were available. Later that day both McDonaghs were seen entering the female changing rooms at Castle Hume Golf Club. After they left, staff discovered a box broken open and a quantity of cash had been taken. A member's handbag was also lying open and some £200 cash was missing.

The following day staff at Lough Erne Golf Resort were conducting a security check following alerts of earlier burglaries in the area.

They encountered the couple rifling through desks in an office. On being challenged the pair claimed they were looking for a room, and left.

Other incidents were noted at chalets in the resort and at the Westville Hotel around the same date.

Police conducted extensive enquiries and collected CCTV from the areas involved. The male and female were identified as the McDonaghs, and a third person has been identified but not yet arrested. The couple were arrested in an early morning swoop in their Clogher home.

Objecting to bail, the police officer said Mr McDonagh had a prolific criminal record and had been residing in the Republic of Ireland until around seven weeks ago, when he set up home with his partner in Clogher. A defence solicitor said both clients should be freed on bail and were willing to abide by any conditions imposed.

He also highlighted Ms McDonagh "may be a vulnerable adult and may have been taken advantage of".

Bail was refused and the pair are to appear by video-link at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on July 5.

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