Portlaoise man gets prison sentence for drug dealing

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A Portlaoise man has been sentenced to six months in prison having been convicted of selling drugs.

A Portlaoise man has been sentenced to six months in prison having been convicted of selling drugs.

Barry Fitzpatrick, 35 Glenbarrow, Ballyfin Road, Portlaoise, faced two counts of the possession of drugs, and two counts of possession for sale or supply, at his home address on November 30 last year. He was also charged with handling stolen property.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that gardaí carried out a search of Fitzpatrick’s house on that date and discovered 7.7 grammes of cannabis herb, valued at €154, and 31.2 grammes of cannabis resin, valued at €187.

Also discovered were items that had been stolen in a burglary on November 27, an Apple iPad, and iPod and a camera.

Fitzpatrick was arrested and admitted he had been dealing drugs. He also admitted possessing the stolen items and said he knew they were stolen. Insp Farrelly said gardaí were satisfied he had not committed the robbery, but he did not say where he had got the goods.

Fitzpatrick had five previous convictions, three of which were for drugs.

Defence, Ms Ann Manning said that her client used to work on building sites but lost his job four years ago due to the recession and turned to cannabis. Ms Manning said that the amounts of drugs found were relatively small and Fitzpatrick had been using them with his friends in a joint venture.

However, Garda Padraic Ryan told the court that Fitzpatrick had admitted dealing drugs for a year, and he would receive “significant amounts” of drugs each week.

“What concerns me,” remarked Judge Catherine Staines, “is he was in possession of stolen property three days after a burglary. Either he was involved in the burglary or he was receiving stolen property. What are the circumstances in which he had it?”

Ms Manning replied that Fitzpatrick accepted the goods were stolen, but he did not go any further with the information due to fear.

“He accepts he got involved in a murky world and wants out,” said defence. “He wants to escape the world he got into.”

“He got himself into,” retorted Judge Staines, “he could have got himself out any time he wanted.”

The judge imposed a six-month sentence. Recognisance was fixed for an appeal.