A JUDGE has sentenced two Ennis men to community service as a result of a cocaine bust at one of the county’s best known schools at St Flannan’s College in Ennis.
At a sitting of the ‘drugs court’ in Ennis, Judge Patrick Durcan said that the presence of two bags of cocaine on the boundary wall at St Flannan’s College in January of this year is evidence of the existence “of an organised system and a supply chain”.
Judge Durcan said the placing of the cocaine under ivy on the college’s boundary wall “was the ‘post box and collection point’ as it were”.
The bags of cocaine with a combined value of €200 were detected as a result of a garda search and surveillance operation focusing on the boundary wall at the Ennis school on January 17, 2017.
In the case, Judge Durcan imposed 120 hours community service in lieu of four months jail on Conor Mahon (26) with an address Ballaghboy halting site, Ennis after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and 120 hours in lieu of four months in jail to Thomas Molloy (25), with addresses at Park Avenue, Ennis and Ballaghboy Halting Site, Ennis, after he pleaded guilty to the sale and supply of cocaine on the same date.
Judge Durcan noted that Mr Mahon had three previous convictions for possession and two for the sale and supply. Judge Durcan said that if Mr Mahon was facing another sale and supply charge, “he would be going away for a lengthy holiday”.
The judge said that it was Mr Molloy’s first sale or supply drugs offence.
In evidence, Detective Garda Trevor Shannon told the court that gardaí were notified by the then school principal of St Flannan’s of two men acting suspiciously in the school grounds on January 17.
The two were searching for the cocaine but went away empty handed when they couldn’t find the drugs. In the meantime, gardaí arrived at the scene and were successful in locating the drugs on the wall.
However, gardaí in a surveillance operation then pounced on the two as they returned for a second time on the day to search for the cocaine and the two admitted that the cocaine was theirs.
Insp Tom Kennedy said that there was co-operation from the two concerning the cocaine.
Solicitor for the two, Daragh Hassett said that the two were cocaine users at the time and that they had agreed to buy it from a third party. He said that both no longer use drugs.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment.

Contact Ronan on rjudge@clarepeople.ie

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