One of the best boxers ever produced in Ireland was in custody yesterday for having €8,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco for sale at his home without payment of excise duty, writes Liam Heylin.
Kieran Joyce, aged 52, pleaded guilty to having the cigarettes and tobacco at his home at Ardán na Mara, Youghal, Co Cork, on February 25, 2015.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the biggest factor weighing on his mind was the fact that Joyce had previous convictions for the same offence.
Customs officer Georgina O’Doherty testified Joyce was fined various amounts up to over €5,000 for offences committed in 1997, 2000 and 2002.
The fourth conviction was recorded in 2004 and he was fined €1,000 and given a six-month suspended sentence.
Ms O’Doherty said she obtained a warrant to search the home of the accused in February 2014, and the cigarettes were later found at his home and at a neighbouring property.
Character witness, Gerry O’Mahony, president of the Munster Council said of Joyce, “He is possibly one of the best boxers Ireland has produced”.
Other character evidence was put before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin that Joyce had a huge commitment to coaching and supporting youngsters in boxing and that he made an enormous contribution to society in that respect.
The judge repeated that the previous convictions for the same offence made custody unavoidable. He decided to remand the accused in custody until April 4 for sentencing on that date.
Dermot Sheehan, defending, said the amount of revenue lost to the State by the cigarettes and tobacco which Joyce had available for sale in February 2015 was €6,000. Mr Sheehan said Joyce represented Ireland internationally as well as being a very successful figure nationally.
Joyce said yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the offence two years ago was a moment of madness, stupidity, and it would not happen again.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.