The three men and one woman had been arrested at a property near Bantry, Co Cork, last Sunday, with gardaí telling Bandon District Court that bleached cocaine worth an estimated €70,000 was recovered at Seascape, Dromleigh during a search conducted by officers from the West Cork and Cork City Drug Units and the Garda Regional Support Unit.
Dean Gilsenan, of 2, Kilmahuddrick Green, Clondalkin in Dublin 22; his father, William Gilsenan, of the same address; Sean McManus of 32, Burrowfield Road in Baldoyle, Dublin 13; and Molly Sloyan, of 4B Buenosaires, Benidorm in Alicante in Spain, each face two charges, under Section 3 and Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
All four had sought bail, having been formally arrested and charged on Tuesday night in Bandon and Bantry garda stations.
Addressing the court at yesterday’s bail hearing Det Garda Andrew Manning of Bandon Garda Station said that on November 26 members of the West Cork Divisional Drugs Unit, the Cork City Drugs Unit and the Garda Regional Support Unit had executed a search warrant at Seascape in Dromleigh, Bantry.
Det Garda Manning said officers found a cocaine extraction laboratory at the property, with 1kg of bleached cocaine worth an estimated €70,000, pending analysis, found there.
The court also heard that isopropanol, a chemical used in the extraction process, was also found. Judge Mary Dorgan was told that four people at the property at the time of the search were detained for questioning.
Dean Gilsenan, 26, was arrested and shortly afterwards charged at Bandon Garda Station on Tuesday night and made no reply to the charges.
Sean McManus, 36, was arrested at Bantry Garda Station and charged shortly after, also on Tuesday night, and also made no reply to the charges.
William Gilsenan, 51, was arrested at Bantry Garda Station and charged shortly afterwards, also on Tuesday night, and made no reply to the charges.
Molly Sloyan, 25, was arrested at Bandon Garda Station and charged shortly afterwards on Tuesday night and made no reply to the charges.
Gardaí objected to bail regarding all four individuals under Section 2 of the Bail Act and under the O’Callaghan Rules, citing the seriousness of the charges, among other factors. Insp Brian Murphy said it was “a complicated case” and said it was “a case with international links”.
Objecting to bail with respect to Dean Gilsenan, Det Garda Manning said he believed Mr Gilsenan, who he said lived in Spain but who gave an address in Dublin, was a flight risk, with gardaí checking as to whether an outbound flight had been purchased.
Det Garda Manning also said gardaí believe packages were sent from South America and the cocaine then extracted from the fabric using isopropanol and processed. He agreed with Insp Murphy’s assertion that there was “an international element” to the case.
Dean Gilsenan’s solicitor, Patrick Horan, said his client was reserving his position on bail until next Tuesday when he is due to appear before Clonakilty District Court.
Det Garda Pádraig Sleator said Sean McManus lived in Spain but had given an Irish address when he was arrested. Det Garda Slater told Judge Dorgan he believed Mr McManus was a flight risk.
Mr McManus’s junior council, Hannah Cahill, said he was a single parent to three children of school-going age and was willing to stay at his parent’s address in Baldoyle. She said Mr McManus’s children had already travelled to Ireland from Spain, but Det Garda Slater said he had no confirmation of that. Ms Cahill also said her client was willing to observe a curfew.
“I don’t think there are any conditions that can be met that would satisfy me,” Det Garda Sleator said.
He also told the court that gardaí believed that Mr McManus was responsible for instructing his co-accused on how to accumulate the cocaine compound and for sending a “how to” or explanatory video of the extraction process to his co-accused. “I believe him to be a flight risk,” Det Garda Sleator said.
Insp Murphy said there are indications of “a strong illicit network and access to that network could facilitate escape from the State”.
Judge Dorgan refused bail and Mr McManus is due before court in Clonakilty next Tuesday.
Bail was also refused for William Gilsenan. His solicitor, Flor Murphy, said Mr Gilsenan’s passport had already been surrendered in the course of a search of his home in Dublin. Mr Murphy said his client was 51, long settled in Dublin and a permanent resident in his home, with no record of international travel. However, gardaí objected to bail and Judge Dorgan remanded him in custody until next Tuesday in Clonakilty.
As part of their objections to bail Det Garda Colin O’Mahony said a phone had been seized at Mr Gilsenan’s Dublin home which had a picture in it showing William Gilsenan at the Bantry property on November 13. The court heard gardaí believe he was left in charge of Seascape between that date and execution of the search warrant last Sunday.
Det Garda O’Mahony said: “Our evidence is that he was intricately involved in the process at the house.”
It was also claimed by gardaí that a package, addressed to a third named individual, had been delivered to the Clondalkin house from South America and had travelled to the house in Bantry.
The court heard Molly Sloyan gave an address in Spain, where she worked on a seasonal basis, and was now effectively homeless.
Her solicitor, Patrick Horan, said Ms Sloyan was proposing to stay at the Simon Community on Anderson’s Quay in Cork City and could sign on twice daily at Anglesea St Garda Station. The court heard Ms Sloyan’s mother lives in Kinsale but staying there was not an option.
Det Garda Shannon Ryan said Simon was a temporary accommodation and was not easily accessible by gardaí without disrupting other residents. Insp Murphy said there was no guarantee of a bed at the facility every night and that it was unacceptable for gardaí in light of the serious nature of the charges faced by Ms Sloyan.
Det Garda Ryan said Garda evidence is that Ms Sloyan organised flights for herself and her co-accused, organised a house in Kinsale for them and organised Seascape in Bantry. He also said gardaí believe she ordered the isopropanol, the “key component” in the extraction process, with phone records and financial transactions also linking her to the operation.
Earlier, in objecting to Dean Gilsenan’s bail application, Det Garda Manning had said the isopropanol had been posted to an address in Kinsale and had been paid for using a credit card with his name. In the witness box Ms Sloyan said: “I know exactly how serious this is.”
Regarding any address in Ireland she said she had lived with her mother in a house in Kinsale for 10 or 12 years.
“She is absolutely terrified by everything that has happened,” Ms Sloyan said. When told by gardaí that her mother had told them she wanted nothing more to do with her, Ms Sloyan replied: “Obviously it is every mother’s worst nightmare.” She said she never once accepted that she had any involvement in taking drugs or selling drugs.
Her solicitor said his client now found herself homeless and claimed it was not an undue burden on the State were she to stay with Cork Simon, but Judge Dorgan refused bail and Ms Sloyan will appear next before court in Clonakilty next Tuesday.