Two women charged with bringing drugs into the local prison told Portlaoise District Court that they were put under pressure to commit the offence.
Before last week’s court was Sandra Byrne (34), with an address in Cork, charged with supplying drugs into a place of detention.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that the accused was detected bringing in €60 of drugs to the jail.
Sgt Kirby told the court that the accused had 225 previous convictions, including 28 for drugs offences. Five of these were for having drugs for sale or supply.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the drugs were unprescribed tablets. She said the accused, the mother of two girls, had not been in trouble for the last four years.
Her partner was serving a sentence and she was put under pressure to bring the drugs in, said Ms Fitzpatrick, adding that the accused had made no financial gain.
“She felt she had no option,” said defence.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that if the accused was sent to prison she would lose her council accommodation.
Judge Catherine Staines noted that the accused had suffered considerable difficulties in her earlier life and had not committed any other crimes in the last four years.
The judge imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for one year on the accused’s own bond of €100.
In a separate case before the court last week was Rebecca Deegan (26), with an address in Laois.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on July 23 this year, the accused was detected bringing in 60 tablets to the Midlands Prison.
She had three previous convictions, for road traffic matters.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the accused, who is living locally, had been put under pressure to bring the drugs in.
Defence said the accused had spent her time well over the last period of time and had gained some qualifications.
Ms Fitzpatrick said the accused is medicated for anxiety, which, as she is only 26, is an issue for her.
The accused was convicted and fined €100.