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'Small-scale dealers fuel bigger criminals' - judge

Judge Paul Kelly

A Judge has warned small-time drug dealers they are helping to fuel serious crime such as that in Drogheda and Dublin in recent weeks.

Judge Paul Kelly made his comments at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal when sentencing a Lifford man who pleaded guilty to the sale and supply of drugs.

Shane McNulty was a passenger in a car that was stopped by gardai at Daly's service station in Lifford on October 9, 2017.

Gardai found a bag with cannabis in the car and McNulty admitted it was his.

A follow-up raid on his home at Hollybush, Lifford, uncovered nearly €600 worth of cannabis in a bedroom.

The accused's solicitor, Frank Dorrian, said McNulty had an unfortunate set of circumstances and was trying to go straight.

He said McNulty had been selling the drugs in order to fund a SafePass course, but had lost two fingers in a car accident and could no longer do manual labour.

Before that, he had been involved in a number of other car accidents which had left him with a brain injury.

Appalling

However, Judge Kelly said it was exactly this type of behaviour that was fuelling the drugs industry.

"His drug dealing may have been on the smaller end of the scale, but they are all connected to substantial criminal networks," he said.

"These are the exact people who have no problem resorting to appalling violence.

"If you are buying a joint at a street corner or selling a few deals of cannabis, then you are supporting that endeavour.

"The shocking and sordid events in Dublin and Drogheda are the type of mess people get into when they get involved in the sale of drugs."

He adjourned McNulty's case until April 2 to allow for a Probation and Welfare Service report.