Limerick father of four was selling drugs to make cash for Christmas

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Judge O’Donnell said the defendant had been involved in a “commercial enterprise” and that he was an active participant in the drugs trade

Judge O’Donnell said the defendant had been involved in a “commercial enterprise” and that he was an active participant in the drugs trade

A FATHER-of-four who was selling drugs to make money for Christmas has been warned he will go to prison if he reoffends.

Patrick McCarthy, aged 29, of O’Malley Park, Southill had pleaded guilty to possession of a significant quantity of drugs for the purpose of sale or supply.

During a sentencing hearing earlier this year, Detective Garda Damien Kennedy of the divisional drugs unit said cannabis with a street value of almost €7,000 was seized when a house at the Commons, Castleconnell was searched on November 7, 2016.

He told John O’Sullivan BL, instructed by State Solicitor Padraig Mawe, the drugs were located in four plastic packs which were in a larger bag.

The defendant, whose then partner lived at the house, told gardai he had been selling drugs for a number of weeks to raise money Christmas.

“He said he got it to make money for Christmas as he was broke the previous Christmas,” said Detective Garda Kennedy.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant had collected the drugs after they were dropped at a graveyard near his home.

He told gardai he had paid around €6,000 for the drugs and was making around €1,000 per week.

Mr O’Sullivan said the State case was not about the value of the drugs but was a “systems case”.

Eimear Carey BL said her client was a “user and abuser” of cannabis and that he needed to money to buy presents for his children.

She said Mr McCarthy was “brutally frank” with gardai and that he has made “serious efforts” to get his life in order.

The barrister told the court her client is no longer using drugs and is now working as a mechanic.

Imposing sentence on Tuesday, Judge O’Donnell commented that the defendant had been involved in a “commercial enterprise” and that he was an active participant in the drugs trade.

He noted Mr McCarthy has no previous convictions and has not come to the attention of gardai since the incident.

He also noted the positive contents of a probation report and the fact that Mr McCarthy is now working.

He imposed a two and-a-half year prison sentence, which he suspended in its entirety.

The drugs seized are to be destroyed.