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Castletownbere fisherman: ‘I was given heroin as a wedding present’

July 22nd, 2021 11:45 AM

By Southern Star Team

The judge deferred any penalty until; September 23rd

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‘I WAS given heroin as a wedding present,’ a Castletownbere fisherman told Judge James McNulty at a District Court sitting in Bantry.

Peter Mackey (61), with an address at 5 Rinn na Mara, Castletownbere was before the court, where he pleaded guilty on two charges of possession of cannabis when he said that heroin had ‘destroyed his life’ and that he was currently on a methadone programme.

Sgt Trish O’Sullivan told the court that on February 27th 2020, Peter Mackey arrived during a search of a property in Castletownbere.

He was searched and cannabis resin was found. Gardai obtained a warrant to search Mr Mackey’s home where they discovered more cannabis.

The total value of the drugs found on Mr Mackey and at his home was €830. Mr Mackey told gardaí it was for his own personal use.

Judge McNulty asked the reason given by gardaí for the search warrant at Peter Mackey’s home, and the warrant stated it was based on previously reliable sources and a level of surveillance.

However, his solicitor, Ray Hennessy said this information was ‘totally and utterly wrong’.

Peter Mackey told the court that he had first used heroin when he was fishing out of Dublin in the 1980s – in fact it was after receiving heroin as a wedding present in 1983 that he became an addict.

‘I was actually handed it the day I got married,’ he said.

‘I was handed it as a present. I didn’t realise it was going to cause the trouble it did. They describe people like me as functioning addicts, but at the same time it destroyed me.’

‘This was indeed a wicked wedding present,’ Judge McNulty said.

Convicting him on both charges, he ordered a probation report and deferred any penalty to September 23rd.

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