Tuesday 25 October 2016

Nurse in crystal meth case 'ordered Sudafed in colleagues' names'

John Benedict Butalid de Lara
John Benedict Butalid de Lara

A nurse facing allegations relating to the possession of crystal meth ordered Sudafed using the names of a number of his colleagues, a disciplinary inquiry heard yesterday.

John Benedict Butalid de Lara, of Ballyfermot, who worked as a staff nurse at the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook from 2003 until 2014, is facing allegations relating to the possession of crystal meth, and of ordering Sudafed using the names of several colleagues.

The ongoing disciplinary inquiry at the Nursing Board headquarters in Blackrock, Co Dublin heard in December that an ingredient in Sudafed, pseudoephedrine, can be used in the making of crystal meth.

Yesterday clinical nurse manager Anne Dooley, who worked with Mr de Lara at the Royal Hospital Donnybrook for eight years, said she first heard about Mr de Lara, 45, ordering Sudafed in other people's names when a health care assistant approached her about the matter.

Ms Dooley met with Mr de Lara on 30 June 2013 to discuss the matter. Mr de Lara admitted that he had ordered the medication in the health care assistant's name, as he had wanted to send some Sudafed home to the Philippines, where he is from originally.

A year later, in 2014, Ms Dooley was told of a newspaper article reporting that Mr de Lara had appeared in court over charges in relation to possession of crystal meth.

"I was quite shocked," said Ms Dooley, but she said she had never had an issue before with Mr de Lara's work performance.

Mr de Lara's legal representative, barrister John McGuigan, told the inquiry that his client admits to ordering Sudafed in other people's names, so as to send it to the Philippines.


Last December, the inquiry heard that on March 31, 2014 Mr de Lara was arrested by An Garda Siochana following a search of a flat on Marlborough Road in Donnybrook.

Mr de Lara was charged with possession of a controlled drug, namely methamphetamine.

The case was heard before the district court, where the charges against Mr de Lara were dismissed, after he paid €1,000 to a charity.

The inquiry continues on Friday.

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