Over €6,000 was handed into the poor box at Portlaoise District Court last week, amassed from the charitable donations made by people convicted of drug offences at last year’s Electric Picnic.
As has become the normal practice, Picnickers caught with drugs are given the chance to avoid receiving a formal criminal conviction by instead making a payment to the court poor box.
Some 29 people appeared before last week’s court on drug charges relating to the Electric Picnic, with most handing in €300 for their cases to be struck out. In certain cases, people had already paid some money on their previous court date and had returned to pay the balance.
Among the donations made was €300 from a 23-year-old law student from UCD, who was caught with ecstasy worth €50 at this year’s Picnic, on August 31.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that being arrested had had “a very sobering effect” on her client, who was hoping to travel to Canada.
“He’s hoping for a chance,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.
Judge Catherine Staines said he was a well educated young man who really should know better.
He had put his whole life and his career in jeopardy, said the judge.
“You could be taking rat poison for all you know,” said Judge Staines.
In total, €6,370 was handed in, with defendants appearing from Laois, Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, Cork, Galway and Louth.
One man from Dublin failed to appear to answer the charge and Judge Catherine Staines imposed a criminal conviction and fined him €300.
A number of other cases were adjourned, either for the payment of balances or for the case to be finalised.