Donegal farmer turned to drug dealing to “make ends meet”

A local farmer has appeared in court after turning to drug dealing ‘to make ends meet’.

Gerard Kelly was before Buncrana District Court charged with having cocaine for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying it to another.

Kelly, a 31-year-old of Cloncha, Cluldaff, was also charged with the possession of a quantity of fireworks.

Both the drugs and fireworks were found during a search of Kelly’s home on December 9, 2022.

The previous day, Kelly was searched after gardai responded to a call at St Boden’s Terrace, Culaff. Kelly was found in possession of €60 worth of cocaine, which was located in his wallet. Kelly accepted ownership and told gardai it was for his own personal use.

Gardai obtained a search warrant and searched Kelly’s house under the Misuse of Drugs Act the following day.

Cocaine to the value of €252 was located while €300 worth of fireworks were found in the house. Officers also found weigh scales, deal bags and other drug-related paraphernalia during the search.

Kelly was arrested and detained while his mobile phone showed evidence of the sale or supply of drugs, Sergeant Sean McDaid told the court.

The accused man was also charged with possessing €60 worth of cocaine, located when he was searched in a separate incident on October 15, 2022.

The court heard that Kelly, who was accompanied to court by his partner, has three previous convictions for road traffic matters.

Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn, solicitor for Kelly, said his client, a father-of-two, was finding it difficult to make ends meet in order to support his family.

“He resorted to dealing cocaine on a very small basis,” Mr Mac Lochlainn said. “He would be considered to be on the bottom rung of the drugs ladder.”

He said Kelly had been using drugs himself and has since resolved to give up drugs and ‘make the best efforts possible to reform himself’. He said Kelly is now completely free from alcohol and drugs.

“The amounts here are very small,” Mr Mac Lochlainn added, asking the court to show whatever leniency it could.

Mr Mac Lochlainn said the fireworks stash amounted to rockets which the accused was also trying to sell at Halloween ‘to supplement his meagre income’.

“It was purely an economic matter,” he said.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham directed the preparation of a probation and welfare report, to include suitability for community service.

The case was adjourned until May 9, 2024.

Donegal farmer turned to drug dealing to “make ends meet” was last modified: January 29th, 2024 by Staff Writer

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