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Judge is ‘surprised’ at GAA official’s reference for local cocaine dealer

March 3rd, 2020 11:55 AM

Judge is ‘surprised’ at GAA official’s reference for local cocaine dealer Image
Judge McNulty, asked if the reference-writer was aware of the context of the court case.

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DISTRICT Court Judge James McNulty has said he is surprised that a local GAA chairman would write a glowing reference for a man who is selling drugs.

The  judge was hearing the latest case involving the sale of cocaine during the Kinsale 7s rugby event last May.

The judge said that an apprentice carpenter, caught with seven deal bags of cocaine at the Kinsale 7s, was ‘no Mother Theresa’ and it wasn’t a case of ‘Maeve Binchy and the Circle of Friends.’

Judge McNulty made the comment at Bandon District Court when dealing with the case of Kieran Kiely of Curra, Belgooly. He pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine and the possession of cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply.

Det Gda Colin O’Mahony told the court that he was on plainclothes duty at Kinsale 7s on May 4th last when he came across the defendant at 3.10pm on Market Street. 

He said Kiely was acting nervous so he carried out a search on him.

‘I found seven deal bags of cocaine, a mobile phone and €395 in cash and in a caution memo he admitted it was cocaine, but denied he was providing it to others,’ said Det Gda O’Mahony.

The court heard that on August 20th last he was arrested and interviewed at Bandon Garda Station and again stressed he wasn’t selling the drugs.

‘The text messages on his mobile phone indicated that he was involved in the sale or supply of cocaine. During the course of this interview he later admitted supplying cocaine to his friends and that the seven bags were intended to be sold to his friends. The amount of cocaine was under nine grams and had a street value of €631,’ the garda said.

Judge McNulty examined the text messages and said it ‘wasn’t Maeve Binchy and the Circle of Friends and it wasn’t Mother Theresa, either.’

Defence solicitor Eamonn Fleming said his client is an apprentice carpenter and that he developed addiction issues after a friend of his took his own life.

‘He started taking drugs and then selling them to feed his habit,’ he added. ‘Otherwise he hasn’t been before the courts before and he’s an active sportsman and is seeing an addiction counsellor,’ said Mr Fleming, who also handed into court letters of reference from Belgooly GAA Club and KYSS (Kinsale Youth Support Services). He said his client has been involved in coaching and playing and was captain of a team who won a championship.

Judge McNulty said he was surprised that the chairman of a GAA club would write a glowing reference for a man who is selling drugs and asked if the chairman was aware of the context of the court case. Mr Fleming said he was and he also handed into court a letter from his client’s employer – who is also aware of the context – a letter from his parents, as well as a clear urinalysis sample.

Judge McNulty said it wasn’t a ‘moment of foolishness’ and that there was a ‘track of text messages and conversations’ showing that he was involved in the sale or supply of drugs and that it didn’t look like a ‘once-off’ either.

‘Kieran knew what he was doing and he was doing it for profit,’ said Judge McNulty.

He convicted him on both charges but deferred penalty and directed that a probation report be undertaken.

Mr Kiely was then remanded on continuing bail to appear in court again on April 16th.

At the same court Judge McNulty said he is looking for the organisers of the Kinsale 7s to put very prominent safety and information signage up around the town and asked them to come back to him with their plans, before he would consider granting licences to sell alcohol for this year’s rugby event.


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