THE Kinsale woman who made headlines as a Daniel O’Donnell super fan, was jailed this week for seven years for her role in setting up an elaborate cocaine extraction laboratory in Bantry.
And without the involvement of Molly Sloyan, the drugs factory could not have succeeded, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said.
He sentenced the 25-year-old from Abbey Court, Kinsale, to 10 years with the last three suspended, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday.
Her boyfriend, Sean McManus, 36, from Burrowfield Road, Baldoyle, got 15 years, with the last three suspended. However, Judge Ó Donnabháin said that to say Sloyan was the girlfriend ‘does not do justice to the criminality involved.’
William Gilsenan, 51, and his son Dean Gilsenan, 27, both of Kilmahuddrick Green, Clondalkin, got respective sentences of seven years with two suspended, and 10 years with three suspended.
All four pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Seascape, Dromleigh, Bantry on November 26th 2017, at a time when its street value exceeded €13,000.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: ‘In effect what is alleged in this case is that people were involved in a factory.This is a very significant case. I have never come across anything like it before. It does not compare with standard selling or supplying or cannabis grow-house cases. The level of sophistication and organisation is particular in itself.
‘The level of organisation, sophistication, methodology to think of organising a system where cocaine could be extracted from material and the knowledge that was required, the organisation of various factors – the material, housing, movement extraction.
‘Seán McManus had significant help from Ms Sloyan in the hiring, renting and general organisation. She was fully involved at a material level from early on. Without her it could not have succeeded .... To say she was the girlfriend does not do justice to the criminality involved.
‘Dean Gilsenan was very much involved in the extraction. William Gilsenan appears to have involved himself in this escapade, having no (part) in the organisational set-up even though he fully knew what was going on.’
Detective Sergeant Joanne O’Brien said the investigation was an intelligence-led operation between customs and An Garda Síochána. Molly Sloyan rented the holiday home at Bantry and bought a BMW with money given to her for that purpose in November 2017.
Local gardaí, divisional drugs unit gardaí and armed officers from the Regional Support Unit participated in the investigation and in the forced entry to the house as Seascape, Bantry, to execute the search warrant.
They found evidence of drug use on the kitchen table and a large quantity of cocaine and a solvent used to extract the drug from fabric.
Det. Sgt. O’Brien testified that the fabric containing cocaine was posted from Sao Paulo in Brazil to Portlaoise and was later moved to an address in Clondalkin before being driven to Bantry where the cocaine was being extracted using the solvent.
The package contained what appeared to be a duvet, the cover consisting of a design based around the Brazilian flag. The stuffing had been removed from the duvet and replaced with material soaked in cocaine and processed until it dried into the material.
Using the solvent Isopropanol the cocaine was then removed from the material in the house in Bantry. Sloyan had purchased the solvent – sometimes used in industrial cleaning – in Dublin.
The value of the seized high purity cocaine was over €52,000. If mixed it could have made a multiple of that street value.
The four defendants were all arrested and brought to the Bantry garda station for interview while a forensic examination of the house was carried out.
Defence senior counsel Elizabeth O’Connell said Sloyan met McManus when she was working in a bar in Benidorm in Spain. Tom Creed SC said McManus was the black sheep of a very respectable family.
Sloyan made headlines in 2016 when footage of her at a Late Late Show special on St Valentine’s Day went viral after she was caught looking all excited to hear that Daniel O’Donnell was to appear on the show only for her expression to turn to shock when it turned out to be Mario Rosenstock. When Daniel O’Donnell learned of how the footage of Sloyan went viral on the Internet, he invited the blonde Kinsale woman to attend one of his shows at the INEC in Killarney and he later posed for photos with her.