€4,000 of cannabis hidden in rucksack

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A Mountmellick man caught with €4,000 of cannabis for sale was last week given a ten-month suspended sentence at Portlaoise District Court.

Niall Buckley, 16 College Avenue, Mountmellick, was charged with possession of drugs, and possession for sale or supply, at Emmet Street, Mountmellick, on April 30, 2013.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that gardaí observed Buckley acting in a suspicious manner. A drug search was conducted, and in Buckley’s rucksack was discovered 201 grams of cannabis, with a value of €4,000.

He was arrested and made full admissions to gardaí, telling them that he was supplying the drug in the Tullamore area.

Buckley had no previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted it was an extremely serious offence.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that Buckley had been heavily reliant on cannabis at the time and in order to feed his habit he got involved in dealing. He was due to pay €2,550 for the cannabis, a debt that he still had to pay after the drugs were seized by the gardaí. In order to pay the debt he had to seek the assistance of a loan shark, Ms Fitzpatrick said, going on to reveal that Buckley still had €700 to pay back and he was paying money out of his social welfare.

Ms Fitzpatrick said it had been “a blessing in disguise” that he had been stopped by the gardaí.

“He now has to take responsibility for his behaviour,” said Ms Fitzpatrick. “He was on a spiral downwards, but meeting the gardaí on the day has stopped that spiral.”

“This is an extremely serious offence,” said Judge Catherine Staines. “A lot of these drugs would have found their way to young people, a lot of them start off on cannabis and get involved with drug dealers and then they end up before me in this court.”

The judge noted that Buckley had no previous convictions and pleaded guilty, and imposed a ten-month sentence, suspended for two years.


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