Donegal man who fell into ‘dark quagmire of drugs’ gets ‘strong message’ from Judge

December 1, 2020

A DISTRICT Court Judge said he had to ‘send out a strong message’ in the case of a Donegal man found with over €500 worth of drugs.

Kieran Sheridan (20) of Craig, Rathmullan was before Letterkenny District Court on charges relating to two separate dates in 2019.

On June 14, 2019, Gardai stopped a car in which Sheridan was a front page passenger. Gardaí detected a strong smell of cannabis and carried out a search under the misuse of drugs act.

Sheridan handed over a grinder which contained cannabis. Another bag of cannabis was found concealed in his trousers.

After being conveyed to Letterkenny Garda Station, a bag of cocaine was found in Sheridan’s wallet.

Sheridan admitted ownership of the cannabis, to the value of €60, and the cocaine, valued at €70, and said they were for his own use.

On August 17, 2019, Gardaí were on duty at The Quay, Ramelton when they observed two males acting suspiciously. The men were stopped and searched. Sheridan handed Gardai a wallet and a tobacco box before making off on foot. After being detained, a further search was carried out at Milford Garda Station. Seven small individual bags of cocaine and a bag of cannabis were loafed.

Sheridan admitted that the cocaine, valued at €380, and the cannabis, with a value of €54, were for the purposes of sale and supply.

Solicitor for Sheridan, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said his client had ‘succumbed to the evil of addiction’ after he left school.

“He fell into the dark quagmire that is drugs to feed a habit,” Mr Gallagher said. “He purchased to sell on to assist himself in his addiction.”

Mr Gallagher said incidents had ‘come to light’ in Sheridan’s life and drugs were a release. He had been referred for counselling and spent a year under the service.

“The demons came knocking on the door to him,” Mr Gallagher said, adding that a referral to the Probation Service might assist in keeping Sheridan, who had no previous convictions, on the straight and narrow.

He said: “He is a young man who fell into a dark hole and got stuck in a vicious circle. This has been an awakening for him.”

For the offence on June 14, 2019, Sheridan was fined €150 for possession of cocaine. For the possession of cannabis on that date, Judge Alan Mitchell applied the probation act.

“The pity is that two months later, he hadn’t learned his lesson,” Judge Mitchell said. “This time, it was a lot more serious.”

Judge Mitchell fined Sheridan €200 for the possession of cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply and he fined Sheridan €100 for the possession of cannabis for the purpose of sale or supply.

“I have to send out a strong message,” Judge Mitchell said.

“I am pleased to see that he is on the right road again. He is to be commended for the work that he’s doing, but now he has to keep the foot on the accelerator.”