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Serial burglar used stolen master key to access a dozen hotel rooms

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Serial burglar used stolen master key to access a dozen hotel rooms

A serial burglar used a stolen master key to access a dozen hotel rooms while on bail for earlier burglary offences, a court has heard.

Bernard Foran (48) committed two further burglaries on nearby commercial premises the day after he broke into the hotel.

Foran of Cloonlara Road, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Dean Hotel, Harcourt Street, Dublin city centre, on October 17, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to burglaries at Cedar Tree Restaurant, St Andrew's Street, Dublin city centre, and at The Globe Bar, South Great George's Street, Dublin city centre, both on October 18, 2020.

Foran's 173 previous convictions include 63 for burglary as well as convictions for robbery, theft, possession of drugs, criminal damage and assault.

Detective Garda Cathal Feely told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that Foran entered the hotel and forced entry into a storage area. Foran forced his way past a padlocked door and acquired a master key for the hotel.

Det Gda Feely said Foran then used the key to enter 12 hotel rooms and steal various items, including cash, jewellery and an Apple watch. Guests returned to their rooms to discover items missing and their personal effects scattered around their rooms.

On the following night, Foran was caught by a staff member in a storage room in The Globe Bar and was asked to leave. Gardaí were called to the scene and while they were present a member of staff informed them that Foran had returned to the premises.

When approached by gardaí, Foran gave a false name and was discovered to be in possession of a silver knife which he claimed he carried for his own protection. The knife had in fact been stolen from Cedar Tree Restaurant earlier the same day.

Det Gda Feely agreed with Marc Thompson BL, defending, that his client follows a cycle of going into custody, getting clean of drugs, being released, falling off the wagon and committing an offence.

The detective agreed that Foran was on crack cocaine at the time and using the stolen property to feed that habit. He said Foran was on bail for other burglaries and the time of these offences.

Judge Melanie Greally ordered a report from the Probation Service and adjourned the matter for finalisation to May 18, next.