A leading Donegal solicitor has claimed a man went off the rails when he moved to Letterkenny because of its “thriving drugs culture.”

Former State solicitor Kieran McLaughlin said his client had fled the drugs scene in Dublin and was settling in well after starting a new life in Buncrana.

However he was thrown back into the shady world of drug-addiction and dealing when he moved to Letterkenny.

He was speaking as father-of-seven Karl Ryan was caught bringing bars of cannabis into Letterkenny for sale from Dublin.

Ryan, a 43 year old, fled Dublin in a bid to kick his drugs habit.

However his drugs habit went completely out of control when he decided to move to Letterkenny.

Letterkenny District Court heard how on July 6th 2011, Garda drugs officers followed a car which they thought was being driven suspiciously.

It pulled up outside the Bus Eireann bus station and Karl Ryan got off a bus with a rucksack on his back.

He got into the car which Gardai stopped a couple of minutes later at New Line Road.

Ryan initially became aggressive when he was told he was being searched but then complied.

Garda found two 9oz bars of cannabis resin in the rucksack with a total street value of €2,600 according to Gardai.

Solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin said Ryan had borrowed €1,100 and went to Dublin to buy the drugs hoping to make a €700 profit on them.

He said he had a tragic background and had slept rough in Dublin for a number of years because of his drug addiction.

He settled well in Buncrana but decided to move to Letterkenny.

“He came to live in Letterkenny – it may not have bright lights but it has a thriving drug culture here. When he came to Letterkenny he got sucked in and fell in with a few locals who encouraged him to go to Dublin.

“Coming to Letterkenny was his downfall and that’s where it all started to go badly wrong for him,” said Mr McLaughlin.

The court was told that Ryan was a full-time carer for his friend who had also suffered from drug abuse.

Judge Paul Kelly heard that Ryan had 35 previous convictions – some for drugs offences.

He said he had a certain amount of sympathy for Ryan’s situation.

He said “It was quite a significant amount. I have sympathy for him up to a point. This stuff has the country destroyed and people selling it at whatever level add to that.”

He sentenced Ryan to four months in jail on Section 15 and a further 3 months on the Sec 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act with both to run concurrently which means Ryan will serve four months.



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