09 Aug 2022

Mother's letter to judge helps Electric Picnic drug smuggler

Electric Picnic  drug smuggler case in court.

Electric Picnic drug smuggler case in court.

A young Laois man who attempted to smuggle “a concoction of drugs” worth €900 into Electric Picnic last year has been given a chance to reform after his mother wrote a letter to the Judge.

David Ryan, 26, of 64 Fr Byrne Park, Graiguecullen, appeared before last Thursday’s Portlaoise District Court.

He faced 11 charges of possession of various drugs, both for his own use, and with intent to supply.
They included possession of MDMA, ketamine, cocaine, cannabis and cannabis resin.

Ten of the offences were committed on August 30 2019, and one further one on September 1 2019.

Garda Sergeant JJ Kirby gave evidence that on August 30 2019 the defendant was stopped while going into the Electric Picnic with a crate of cans.
“In one can was a concoction of drugs, stored in the can, with a total value of €898. He was co-operative,” Sgt Kirby said.

Defence solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick noted that the State was accepting a plea.  She said that her client is addicted to drugs and has mental health problems.

He has previous convictions for assault, and breach of public order.

“He is by and large conviction free. It is of course a huge concern that he was going into Electric Picnic with that amount of drugs," she said.

"He did his Junior Cert, he struggled and then through Youthreach he did his Leaving Cert,” she said.

Ms Fitzpatrick gave a letter from Mr Ryan's mother to Judge Staines that she wrote to explain his difficulties. She added that he is working on getting help for his problems.

“He is liaising with substance misuse services in Carlow. There is a mental health issue. He has made efforts to secure employment,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

After reading the letter in silence, Judge Staines spoke to David Ryan.
“You’re very lucky you’ve got a mother who cares so much about you,” she said.

“I know that,” Mr Ryan said whose mother stood beside him in the courtroom.

Judge Staines told him that a lot of his problems were relating to drugs and urged him to stay off drugs.
She put the case back for a probation report, and told the defendant to keep up with his counselling sessions.

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