A construction worker who told gardaí he found cocaine with a street value of €24,000 "while out walking" has been given a six-year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Martin Flynn (aged 24), of Whitestown Avenue, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs on January 13, 2006.
Judge Katherine Delahunt said she was satisfied that, due to the drugs paraphernalia found in Flynn’s home, he was "not storing drugs under threat but actively engaged in the drugs trade" and had told gardaí "a fairy story."
Judge Delahunt imposed a sentence of six years' imprisonment with the final two years suspended, taking into account the "exceptional and specific circumstances" in this case.
Garda Joseph McLoughlin told Mr Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting, that gardaí acting on confidential information searched Flynn’s family home and found cocaine valued at €3,000 as well as weighing scales, a 'tick list' of customers, cash and a mobile phone in his bedroom.
Flynn was arrested and, later that evening, gardaí acting on further confidential information searched a shed at the rear of a nearby house and found cocaine with a street value of neatly €24,000 in a tool belt.
Garda McLoughlin said Flynn, who has four minor previous convictions, admitted the drugs found in his house were his and he was selling them to friends. He initially denied knowledge of the large quantity of drugs but then told gardaí he had found them while out walking.
Garda McLoughlin agreed with defence counsel Mr Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC that Flynn had been of assistance to the gardaí but feared naming those who had given the drugs to him. He agreed that Flynn used cocaine on a weekly basis and was of "low intelligence".
Mr Ó Lideadha said that Flynn, a father of two, had left school at 17 but maintained a good work history since then. He said he was actively involved in sports such as soccer and kick boxing with his children and had run a marathon earlier this year for charity.
He said Flynn had a drug problem at the time of the offence but was working hard to rehabilitate himself.
Mr Ó Lideadha submitted that the interests of the community would be best served by a significant sentence which was suspended to allow Flynn remain as "a good worker, a good father and good member of the community".