Glen Keegan became a household name in Ireland more than two decades ago when he built up a reputation as one of the country’s most prolific car thieves.
Glen Keegan (41) and two other Tallaght men pleaded guilty to two counts of assault causing harm at Killinarden Heights, Tallaght to two men on April 25, 2017.
The three men were not directly involved in an ongoing dispute between two particular families, but agreed to take part in this incident, during which children were present.
At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Judge Pauline Codd adjourned the case until March 6, 2023 for probation reports to be prepared.
This is just the Little General’s latest brush with the law but yesterday an investigating detective said that while Keegan is known to gardai in Tallaght he has not come to any recent attention.
The last significant court case that Keegan was involved in dates back to October, 2018, when he was fined €95 and given a four month suspended jail sentence for assaulting a bus driver in August, 2017.
On that occasion Tallaght District court heard that the Little General was getting off the 27C bus on the Jobstown Road in Tallaght on August 20, 2017 when he struck the worker in the face in an unprovoked attack.
When Keegan was a teenager when he became a household name in Ireland more than two decades ago when he built up a reputation as one of the country’s most prolific car thieves.
He was dubbed ‘the Little General’ because he was a one-man crime wave in his teens.
He first came to garda attention aged 10 and was arrested form stealing cars by 13.
He was so small that he had to use a cushion in order to reach the steering wheel.
He used to put on driving ‘displays’ for youngsters in Tallaght and taunt gardai, who were unable to catch him.
Judges would send Keegan to young offenders’ institutions for joyriding, but as soon as he was released he would go back to theft, telling social services he got a “great buzz” out of it. He escaped from detention nearly a dozen times.
In 1998 he was sent to St Patrick’s Institution for young offenders for 19 months for a string of crimes involving stealing cars and other driving offences.
The Little General’s most serious criminal conviction was a seven year sentence imposed in July, 2007, for an incident in which he forced a porter to open a bank at gunpoint telling him they had kidnapped his wife.
The porter was able to activate a silent alarm during the incident in May, 2005, and Keegan pointed his replica gun at an unarmed garda during a chase before he was arrested.
Despite his criminal pedigree sources say that Keegan has been trying to live on the “straight and narrow” for a number of years.
Yesterday Dublin Circuit Court heard that has 28 previous convictions including three for assault and 13 for road traffic offences.
His barrister stated that most of his client's convictions relate to his addiction issues.
His client had been “persuaded” to take part in this attack at a late stage, though he was not involved in the underlying dispute.
He handed in a letter of apology to the court from Glen Keegan, who is a father of five.
He said his client was suffering from a chronic crack cocaine addiction at the time of this offending, but has taken steps to deal with his addiction issues.
He had to leave a residential treatment programme early due to family reasons but is eager to engage with this service again.
His client had not brought a financial token of remorse to court, but would like the opportunity to do this.
The two other defendants in the case are Karl Keegan (31) of Kilcarrig Crescent, Fettercairn, Tallaght and Thomas McAllister (48) with an address in Rhode, Co. Offaly.
The court heard that gardai were called following reports of a violent incident on a busy road between the Killinarden and Knockmore estates in Tallaght at around 9am on the day in question.
A taxi driver told gardai that he saw a maroon car coming up on the wrong side of the road behind him.
The maroon car then crashed into an orange car, that was one vehicle in front of the taxi.
Three people wearing balaclavas got out of the maroon car carrying implements and began to strike the orange car.
The orange car attempted to drive away, but there was heavy traffic.
It then reversed into the vehicle behind it with such force that this other car was pushed into the taxi.
The men continued their attack on the orange car, which drove to a nearby green area.
The two adult occupants of the orange car left the vehicle, while two children remained inside.
The adults were followed by their assailants. The maroon car also drove to the green area, then the driver also got out.
There was an altercation, then the four occupants of the maroon car got back into the vehicle and left the scene.
When gardai arrived, the two victims were still in the area, but refused to engage with them.
The two men were observed to have superficial cuts to their faces and arms and an ambulance was called.
Gardai made arrangements for the two children to be taken home.
The maroon car was later found in a nearby estate.
An attempt had been made to set it on fire. Some weapons were found in the boot of the partially-burnt car.
The Little General and McAllister were arrested by gardai nearby and their clothing seized on drugs search charges. They were re-arrested in relation to this incident at a later stage.
DNA from their victims were found on various items sent for analysis.
Karl Keegan was identified as a suspect by gardai using CCTV from the area. His DNA was found on a balaclava recovered from the maroon car.