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Drug dealer Dunne for sentence at last after six-year saga

A Dublin man found guilty of cocaine offences came closer to being sentenced today -- more than six years after he was originally charged.

Eamonn Dunne (32), of Dunsoghly Drive, Ratoath Road, Finglas, was charged with a number of crimes, including the sale and supply of drugs including cocaine, ephedrine and ecstasy.

The charges relate to an incident at Cappagh Road in Finglas in June 2002.

Dunne was due to be sentenced last year, but the unavailability of a judge to pass sentence meant the case was put back. The case was due to be called for mention today.

His barrister previously told the Circuit Criminal Court that the case had been "up and down" to the Supreme Court, which had refused his application to allow him to change his plea.

Dunne was originally arrested and charged in 2003, and the case has been before the courts since then. He initially pleaded guilty to several charges but later indicated that he wished to change this plea to not guilty.

The court rejected this and Mr Dunne appealed their decision to the High Court and the Supreme Court. His appeal was unsuccessful.

The charges were brought after an operation by the west Dublin Divisional Crime Taskforce.

Prominence

Dunne was charged by Det Garda Paul Keane. The case had been put back to establish the availability of a judge to sentence him.

The judge who originally dealt with the case would have to sentence the accused, but it was not known if he would be available.

Dunne previously came to prominence when he claimed in Swords District Court last year that he was the victim of garda and media collusion.

He appeared before the court on a minor public order offence.

He said that false newspapers stories were putting him in danger.

Dunne said he wanted to see all Garda PULSE system activity against him in the last year, and he asked the judge to direct the gardai to make this information available to him.

His legal representative said his client was gravely concerned about gardai collusion with journalists, saying the false stories in the newspapers were damaging his safety and integrity. Judge Patrick Brady said Dunne could sue for defamation, if that was what had occurred.

The judge said Dunne could also sue for malicious prosecution and make a complaint to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.

He had been charged with failing to follow the directions of a garda.

The alleged incident occurred at Clare Hall Avenue, Dublin 17, on October 11, 2008.

hnews@herald.ie