A former All-Ireland club football champion has pleaded not guilty to possessing more than e400,000 in cash that was stolen from ATMs in Cavan and Meath by a criminal gang in 2019.
Daniel O'Callaghan (31) of Monog Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh who played for Crossmaglen Rangers has gone on trial at the three-judge, non-jury Special Criminal Court.
Fiona Murphy SC who opened the trial for the prosecution said Mr O'Callaghan was involved with a criminal gang who used a certain "modus operandi" to steal four ATMs by pulling them out of walls in December 2018, and in March and April of 2019 in the Meath and Cavan area.
She said gardai prevented a further attempt in August 2019 to use a digger to pull an ATM from the Riverfront Bar and Restaurant on Main Street, Virginia.
She also highlighted how the prosecution cannot link Mr O'Callaghan to three of the thefts but would bring the court's attention to the similar methods used on each occasion.
The court heard that gardai investigating the series of ATM thefts were watching in the early hours of the 14th August, 2019 when a digger travelled to Virginia in convoy with a stolen Toyota Landcruiser pulling a trailer.
The digger was just metres from the ATM when gardai intervened.
Gardai, counsel said, identified Mr O'Callaghan coming from the driver's side of the Landcruiser and running into a nearby field.
Two other suspects ran to the same field.
Gardai found one of the men after a short search and arrested him.
Ms Murphy said Mr O'Callaghan was involved in "all aspects of the attempted theft at Virginia".
She said there were similarities in the methods used at Virginia and the other thefts.
She also pointed out that rubble from an ATM stolen at Castleblayney, Co Monaghan in April 2019 was found in the trailer being pulled by the Landcruiser - which the prosecution alleges was driven by Mr O'Callaghan in Virginia.
The defendant has denied all charges and the trial continues.