A brother and sister who were part of a gang of four caught in possession of €200,000 worth of heroin have been sentenced to seven years in prison, but with five of those suspended.
Martin Mulcahy (aged 39) of Coachyard, Nenagh, Tipperary and Kathryn Mulcahy (aged 29) of Ballina, Killaloe, Clare are both former heroin addicts.
They pleaded guilty to possession of one kilogram of heroin for sale or supply at the Naas Road, in Clondalkin on April 19, 2008.
Judge Patrick McCartan said many would call such a light sentence "ludicrous" but he had to take into account what had been said in their defence, including the gardai’s belief that "99.9%" of the deal was organised by one of the other arrested men, Neal O’Hare, who has since died.
Detective Garda John Dunny told prosecuting counsel, Mr Colm O’Briain BL, a surveillance team was set up on the N7 road which observed a car driving from Naas Town. The car was been driven by Kathryn with Martin and Mr O’Hare as passengers.
It went towards the Square Tallaght Shopping Centre before briefly pulling in at a lay by. It then continued towards the Red Cow Inn where it parked. At 5.20pm a truck pulled out and one of the men got out of the car and went over to meet it.
Someone in the truck handed over a package to the man who then got back in the car and they drove away. Gardaí stopped the car shortly afterwards and a search revealed two packs of heroin under the front seat.
Kathryn admitted driving the car and said O’Hare had asked her for a lift. She said she knew they may have been going to pick up drugs but thought it was not a large quantity. She was told she would she would get "a few quid" in return.
Martin told gardaí his sister asked him if he wanted to come along "for the spin" and he agreed. Both accused were very cooperative with gardai. Kathryn has no previous convictions while Martin has four for theft offences.
Kathryn’s defence counsel, Mr Sean Gillane BL, said she had no idea what was in the bag and had apologised for her role. Det Gda Dunny agreed she was a "decent person" who was now clean of drugs.
Counsel for Martin, Mr Giollaiosa O’Lideadha BL, said he was highly educated, with a national certificate in biochemistry. He said he had gotten into drugs while traveling around Europe when he was young, but was now also clean.
Judge McCartan commended the gardai for "the skillful way they obtained their information, investigated and arrested the accused.
"Heroin is a vicious drug," he commented. "It is highly dangerous and equally lucrative.
"The accused were no strangers to this trade and they knew they were going to collect drugs."