Former army officer ‘dealt with the devil’

A former army officer has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison after he “dealt with the devil” and got caught with almost €400,000 worth of herbal cannabis.

Gerard Daly, a father of two, had 12 years’ service in the Defence Forces before being discharged from duty over his first drugs offence.

Daly, aged 30, of Hillcrest Avenue, Lucan, Dublin, pleaded guilty to possessing almost 20kg of the drug for sale or supply at his home on April 22, 2013, along with 43 blank ammunition cartridges.

He told gardaí he had agreed to hold the drugs in return for €1,000 as he was financially hard up and “desperate”.

“He must have known that he was dealing with the devil,” said Judge Martin Nolan as he passed sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Garda Dominic Downey told Tom Neville, prosecuting, that gardaí got a tip-off about a delivery of herbal cannabis.

A surveillance operation was mounted outside Daly’s home in Lucan and gardaí saw a white Ford Transit parking outside. Two men got out and carried two large bin bags into the house.

Gardaí obtained a search warrant and Daly gave them keys to open the shed where they found the bin bags.

The bags contained 19.9kg of herbal cannabis which was valued at €20 a gram, with a total value of €399,260.

They also discovered a clip containing 43 blank rounds of ammunition.

Daly has 17 previous convictions all for road traffic offences. Michael Bowman, defending, said all of Daly’s previous offences stemmed from his long-running drink problem. He said Daly had lived in an “alcohol-induced haze” until three months before the drugs offence when he had decided to deal with his alcoholism.


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