The Argus - - NEWS - Dun­dalk court­house

A woman who de­nied deal­ing drugs while Gar­dai watched her drive around Dun­dalk hand­ing over small pack­ages and get­ting money has been given a six month sen­tence, but al­lowed to ap­peal.

Grace Flana­gan, (28), 5 Cul­hane Street, was found guilty last year of pos­ses­sion of drugs for sale or sup­ply af­ter Gar­dai saw her driv­ing around Dun­dalk, meet­ing known drug users at junc­tions and hand­ing over what Gar­dai said were drugs on July 14 2015. When she was ar­rested, she was found to have more than €1330 in cash on her, as well as a small amount of heroin and two D10 tablets.

In ad­di­tion, Gar­dai found what they said were three ‘ tick lists’ on her. The de­fen­dant pleaded guilty to hav­ing no in­surance when she was stopped at the Av­enue Road on De­cem­ber 18 2015 af­ter a short chase and to sim­i­lar of­fences at Cul­hane Street on March 23 last year.

Flana­gan pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of drugs at Cul­hane Street on May 16 when Gar­dai raided her house and found five bits of tin­foil that con­tained traces of heroin.

Flana­gan has 49 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, in­clud­ing for rob­bery and han­dling stolen prop­erty.

Solic­i­tor Paula Tier­nan said her client had been bat­tling a drug ad­dic­tion for some time and ‘when she spoke to the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vice she was very hon­est in re­la­tion to that’.

Ms Tier­nan handed in a let­ter from the HSE to Judge Flann Bren­nan stat­ing that Flana­gan was due to meet a spe­cial­ist on Fri­day in re­la­tion to a methadone course. She had been off heroin for a num­ber of years, but a dis­pute with a fam­ily mem­ber caused her to go back on it af­ter be­ing drug free.

Ms Tier­nan asked the judge to de­fer fi­nal­is­ing the mat­ters un­til Flana­gan had sta­bilised on the methadone pro­gramme.

But Judge Bren­nan said he was ‘not pre­pared to sim­ply ad­journ this mat­ter’ and said he wanted to hear from Flana­gan. The de­fen­dant said she had been in con­tact with ad­dic­tion ser­vices and added she had suc­cess­fully com­pleted a methadone pro­gramme while she had been serv­ing a sen­tence in pri­son and she in­tends to fully en­gage with the ser­vices, if she got the op­por­tu­nity.

Judge Bren­nan said there were ‘an enor­mous num­ber of of­fences’ be­fore him and it was clear that ‘drugs have been at the heart of her prob­lems with the law in the past’.

He said a pro­ba­tion re­port about Flana­gan ‘doesn’t make for good read­ing’ and while he didn’t doubt her in­ten­tion to get help with her ad­dic­tion, ‘ the prob­lem is that she has at­tempted this un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Pro­ba­tion Ser­vice and she has failed’ and she is ‘in the throes of heroin ad­dic­tion’ so there is ‘no hope of her do­ing it’.

He im­posed a six months sen­tence and dis­qual­i­fied her from driv­ing for seven years. He al­lowed her to ap­peal in her own bond of €100.

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