Electric Picnic drug cases in Portlaoise court

Almost 30 people appeared in Portlaoise District Court, last week, charged with possession of drugs at Electric Picnic, last year.

Almost 30 people appeared in Portlaoise District Court, last week, charged with possession of drugs at Electric Picnic, last year.

Garda Patrick Scully, explained to the court that all the defendants had been stopped and searched on their way into Cosby Hall on Friday, September 2, last year.

In total, contributions totalling over €9,000 were made to the Court Poor Box, the defendants had their charge struck out or were given a second chance through the probation act.

Before last year’s festival, Judge Catherine Staines warned the promoter, Mr John Reynolds to adopt a ‘zero-tolerance drugs policy.’

Among the drugs found at this year’s picnic were canabis herb and canabis resin, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine varying in amounts from €5 to €140.

Judge Catherine Staines warned many of the defendants of the dangers of taking even one ecstasy tablet.

She said the message should go out from last week’s court that there was no point bring drugs into the festival as they would be seized by Gardaí who also carried out searches inside the campsites.

In the case of Derek Byrne, 22 The Grove, Haydens Park, Lucan, who was found with €70 worth of cocaine, Judge Staines told him that he was helping to fund criminal gangs who were behind the selling of such drugs.

“This is a serious drug. People selling these drugs are criminal gangs involved in intimidation and violence, you are helping to fund that when you buy these drugs. You should consider carefully what you are doing,” she said.

Philip Gorman, 35 McKee Avenue, Finglas, Dublin 11, was at the picnic as both a musician playing at the festival and as a spectator. The 29-year-old was found with €80 of canabis herb.

Judge Staines told Gorman that he would play far better when he is not under the influence of drugs. Both defendants made contributions of €300 to the Court Poor Box.

Adam Purcell, 6 Kent Terrace, Barnhill Road, Dalkey, Dublin was ordered to make a contribution of €800 to the poor box after he was found to have €140 of cocaine and ecstasy to the value of €120. Mr Purcell told Gardaí that the drugs were for personal use to be shared between himself and his friends.