'Unsophisticated' | 

Two men to be sentenced for attempting to rob Dublin pub now owned by Conor McGregor

Jason Paget (35) and Charles Darcy (34) pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at Marble Arch pub, Benbulbin Road, Drimnagh and using a car without the consent of the owner
The Marble Arch pub in Drimnagh

The Marble Arch pub in Drimnagh

Conor Mcgregor now owns the Marble Arch pub

Conor Mcgregor now owns the Marble Arch pub

Eimear DoddSunday World

Two men who took part in an “unsophisticated” attempt to rob a pub in Drimnagh that is now owned by MMA star Conor McGregor will be sentenced later this year.

Jason Paget (35) and Charles Darcy (34) pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at Marble Arch pub, Benbulbin Road, Drimnagh and using a car without the consent of the owner on August 12, 2021.

Judge Crowe ordered several reports to be completed and she adjourned the case until November 3 for finalisation.

Paget of John Field Road, Dublin has 15 previous convictions and is in custody on this charge.

Darcy of Cloverhill Road, Clondalkin has 43 convictions including one for attempted murder for which he served a 12-year sentence. He is in custody on another matter.

Garda Brendan D'Arcy gave evidence that gardai were on a mobile patrol in the area at 3.23 am when they spotted a car parked outside the Drimnagh pub, with the lights on and engine running.

There was a woman sitting in the passenger seat, who appeared to be intoxicated. The car was later found to have been stolen from the Clontarf area on July 29. 2021.

Conor Mcgregor now owns the Marble Arch pub

Conor Mcgregor now owns the Marble Arch pub

Gda D'Arcy told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that gardai noticed the pub's alarm was ringing and the shutter had been forced open. They also heard noises from inside the premises.

Gardai called for backup and planned to surround the pub when two men were seen trying to push a cash register under the door.

The men retreated inside when they saw gardai. A few minutes later, gardai heard dogs barking on a nearby street and went to investigate.

Darcy was spotted hiding in a bush of a house close to the pub and was initially arrested for trespass. Darcy later told gardai he was visiting a married woman who lived on the street and had left her home before her husband returned.

Gda D'Arcy agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending Darcy, that the burglary attempt was “unsophisticated” and Darcy had made a drunken attempt to flee.

Gda Sean Magee told the court that he was at the scene and saw a bald man running and pursued him, but lost sight of the man when he jumped a garden fence.

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The man had left a black hat behind, from which DNA which matched Paget was identified. Around 30 minutes later, gardai saw Paget nearby who was highly intoxicated, unsteady on his feet and had a cut on his head.

He was arrested for a public order offence, searched and found to have €225 in his possession which he was unable to explain.

Paget was later released on the public order charge and subsequently re-arrested for burglary. He made no comment during his first two interviews.

CCTV was obtained by gardai during their investigation. Gda Magee agreed with Karl Monahan BL defending that Paget entered a guilty plea when the DNA match was confirmed.

Gardai agreed with defence counsel that both men were highly intoxicated when arrested. They had broken into a commercial premises which was unoccupied at the time and there was no confrontation.

Mr Spencer said Darcy had spent time in detention as a minor and has already served several long sentences. He is a father of one and wishes to deal with his addiction issues.

Darcy was highly intoxicated on the night in question. He had been doing well, but relapsed due to family issues.

Mr Spencer asked Judge Crowe to order a probation report and a psychological assessment.

Mr Monahan said Paget is a father of two children, who lives in the UK. He had been residing in the UK, but had returned to Ireland.

Paget wished to return to the UK and found it difficult to be in custody while his family live in another jurisdiction.

He had addiction issues and was taking methadone, the court heard. He had fractured his back in an accident in 2021.

Paget surrendered his bail in December 2021 and has been in custody since then. Several testimonies were handed into the court on behalf of Paget.

Adjourning the case, Judge Crowe ordered probation reports and urine analysis are undertaken for both men.

The Marble Arch was where McGregor infamously punched innocent Dubliner Desmond Keogh (50) in April 2019 when the customer refused to taste McGregor's 'Proper 12' whiskey.

Keogh refused the shot and McGregor punched him in the head, for which he later pleaded guilty to assault and paid a €1,000 fine over the incident.

It was later revealed how McGregor put a bid in for the same pub for between €1.5 million and €2 million.

In December 2021 we revealed how McGregor had finalised the purchase of the Marble Arch pub on November 15.

"I had a price in my head and I'm happy with the price," publican Chris Kelly, who sold the Marble Arch to McGregor, told the Sunday World.

Chris would not reveal the price the MMA sportstar paid for the famous pub but it's believed Conor could have splashed close to €2m on the March Arch.

McGregor, who has a fortune of around €300m, bought the nearby Black Forge pub in Crumlin the previous year for €1.9m and has spent over €1m renovating the hostelry he has frequented since his teens.

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