A Dublin man who tried to steal a parrot who entertains a Co Meath village has been given a choice of donating €200 to charity or face a conviction and fine of €500 at Navan District Court.
Conor Grall from Portland Row, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to two charges, one of theft of the bird and the second relating to criminal damage of a bird cage in Dunshaughlin on 13 December.
The court had heard that the accused had stolen Pixie, an eight-year-old Congo African Grey parrot, from the street where he normally perched but he was caught shortly afterwards.
Paul Barr, his owner, told the court today that Pixie had been a rescue bird and he had looked after him for several years.
It was normally kept on the street outside his photographic shop in Dunshaughlin on the advice of a vet, as the bird had a skin condition and needs constant fresh air.
The bird, he said, had been upset for a few days after the theft, but was now outside entertaining the passers-by.
Mr Barr said Pixie was worth between €1,500 and €2,000 and his cage is now secured with a lock and chain to the wall of the shop.
In reply to questions from Judge Patrick McMahon, the witness said his pet could live to be 80 years old and will "more than likely outlive me".
The defendant apologised in court to Mr Barr and admitted he already had Pixie sold when he stole him as he knew someone who wanted the bird. Grall said he was unemployed and single.
The court heard the defendant had no previous convictions so Judge McMahon gave him a choice of paying €200 to a charity, 'Cycle Against Suicide' or face a conviction and fine of €500.
The case is due back before the court early next month.