Man caught with heroin down trousers at Letterkenny bus station

April 21, 2024

A man with 50 previous convictions who was found with €350 worth of heroin concealed in his trousers at Letterkenny bus station has been given the benefit of the Probation Act.

Andrew O’Neill, a 23-year-old with an address at Meadowbank, Letterkenny, appeared before Letterkenny District Court.

He was also charged with public order offences.

O’Neill was put in the witness box by his solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien, and he told Judge Cunningham that he ‘detoxed’ himself.

O’Neill said he has been engaging with the Ana Liffey Drug Project in Dublin and has been attending counsellors.

He said his overall mental health is ‘good’ and that he is in a more positive place now.

Judge Cunningham asked O’Neill how he is doing and present and he said he has his name down for a community employment scheme, ‘an opportunity to get started’

Facts of the case against O’Neill had been heard at a previous sitting of the court.

At around 12.30am on October 3, 2020, O’Neill was stopped by Gardai at Letterkenny bus station and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Officers located a small bag of brown powder concealed in his trousers.

Analysis established that the substance was heroin, valued at €350.

O’Neill also appeared over an incident on September 1, 2022 at Glencar Park, Letterkenny. Gardai were attending to a male who required medical attention when they were approached by O’Neill.

O’Neill began to impede members who were rendering assistance. O’Neill became abusive and aggressive, clenching his fists. Gardai had to administer handcuffs due to O’Neill’s level of aggression.

Force had to be used in the conveyance of O’Neill to Letterkenny garda station.

Inspector Tony Byrne told the court that O’Neill has ‘an extensive catalogue’ of previous convictions, amounting to 50 in total.

O’Neill’s previous include 29 for road traffic offences, six offences contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act, 12 for theft, one for the possession of a knife, one for the possession of a mobile phone while in prison and one for criminal damage.

“He has had a very traumatic background and didn’t have a great start,” Mr O’Brien said, urging the court to follow the recommendations of the Probation Service to give his client ‘the best chance’.

Judge Cunningham said she considered the probation report and noted that O’Neill has not come to the attention of gardai since.

“I am satisfied that he is making progress, but it is a journey and he has to engage,” Judge Cunningham said, placing O’Neill on a probation bond for a period of 12 months. Judge Cunningham told Mr O’Brien that his client ‘must take the opportunity’

O’Neill replied by saying that he ‘wants to go forward, not back’.