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Driver gets West Cork ‘ban' after hatchet, cocaine found in his car

October 18th, 2018 5:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

The car was stopped at Farnahoe, Innishannon.

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A 30-YEAR-old Cork city man with 125 previous convictions has been told by a District Court Judge to stay out of West Cork for a period of two years.

At a recent sitting of Bandon District, Judge James McNulty told Martin O’Reilly of 1 The Commons, Fairhill, Cork city that ‘it generally means not beyond the Viaduct or EMC.’

‘He knows West Cork better than I do, and if he offends in any way, he’ll be brought back to court,’ said Judge McNulty.

Mr O’Reilly was charged with the possession of cocaine and allowing the drug to be used in his car as well as being charged with having a hatchet, which had a double blade on it.

The court was told that on April 12th last at 11.40pm  the defendant was stopped at Farnahoe, Innishannon by Gda Darren Cahalane who noticed that the insurance disc displayed did not match the vehicle registration of the car. Gda Cahalane said the defendant appeared very nervous and when he searched the car he found a small bag of cocaine under the driver’s seat and a hatchet in the passenger door pocket.

‘I seized them and he then ran from us but was apprehended a short time later and we discovered he was a disqualified driver and he was brought to Bandon Garda Station,’ said Gda Cahalane.

Insp Pat Meany told the court that the defendant has 125 previous convictions with the most recent at Cork District Court on May 25th where he was handed a 10-year driving ban for driving without insurance.

Mr O’Reilly’s solicitor asked Gda Cahalane if his client had told him that he had only the car a week and didn’t know there was cocaine in there and that he had been chopping wood earlier. Gda Cahalane said Mr O’Reilly said his wife may have had it for chopping wood.

‘Having a hatchet with cocaine takes on a different dimension,’ said Judge McNulty.

Mr O’Reilly said he didn’t know the cocaine was there and that he was pleading guilty, even though the drugs weren’t his.

When asked by Judge McNulty why he was in Innishannon on the night in question, Mr O’Reilly said he had a dog in the boot and admitted he was driving while disqualified which he admitted was ‘the height of stupidity.’ 

He said he had bought the car from a cousin the previous week and he was only collecting it that day.

‘I collect animals that could be put down, but I look after them,’ said Mr O’Reilly.

Judge McNulty said it wasn’t a good idea for Mr O’Reilly to be coming to West Cork.

‘I suggest you do it in North Cork or East Cork and not West Cork,’ said Judge McNulty.

Judge McNulty sentenced to Mr O’Reilly to 14 days in prison for the possession of cocaine and took into consideration the charge of allowing his car be used for carrying drugs. He was also sentenced to five months in prison for the possession of a hatchet.

Judge McNulty suspended all the sentences for two years on the usual conditions of keeping the peace, being of good behaviour and committing no offence, but added an additional condition that Mr O’Reilly should not visit any town or place in West Cork for two years.

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