Three milkmen in Ireland who egged houses on their early-morning round for nearly three months have told a court they did it because they were "bored".

Father of two Paul Keating, 32, and Eric Flynn, 19, subjected their victims to a relentless egging campaign, leaving one elderly woman in considerable fear.

They were caught early one morning after a special gardai operation was set up to apprehend the culprits. The two men were found by officers surrounded by open egg cartons.

A third man, Shane Greenhalgh, 19, later came forward to admit his part in the eggings.

The trio appeared Blanchardstown District Court where they admitted charges of criminal damage, the Irish Independent reported.

They have since paid more the €2,000 (£1,785, $2,355) for the damage caused, mostly to vehicles parked outside the homes targeted.

The three men told the court they didn't realise the impact their egging spree in a Dublin suburb was having on residents. They did it "out of boredom" and were "having a laugh", the court heard.

They were said to have targeted properties in Clonsilla for nearly three months, between 2 October and 19 November 2016.

Officers stopped their vehicle on Clonsilla Road at 3.30am on 1 December last year, finding inside Keating – the driver – and Flynn. Both were surrounded by egg cartons and the pair admitted they had been throwing eggs at houses.

Greenhalgh, who was not with them at the time, later admitted his part.

The court heard that Keating, of Castleknock Elms in Castleknock; Greenhalgh, of Mary Brennan Park; and Flynn, of St Patrick's Park, both in Blanchardstown, had never been in trouble with the gardai before.

Judge David McHugh ordered the three men to complete 100 hours of community service, in lieu of two months in prison.