A Dublin man has been jailed for five years for transporting a loaded gun and possessing over €42,000 of drugs to offset his debts to criminals
Keith Gilroy (26), a father-of-two of Bunratty Road, Coolcock, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing €2,590 of cocaine at Sean O'Casey Avenue, Dublin, on August 27, 2016.
He admitted possessing over €40,000 of cannabis and crack cocaine and laundering €4,415 at the same location on February 27, 2017. He also pleaded guilty to possessing a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and 11 rounds of ammunition at Howth Road, Clontarf, Dublin, on July 16, 2018.
His four previous convictions are for minor drugs crimes and he was on bail for possessing the cannabis and cocaine when he committed the firearms offence.
Judge Melanie Greally gave Gilroy credit for his “candid” admissions to gardaí and his early guilty pleas. She imposed an eight year sentence with the final three years suspended.
The court heard gardaí with a search warrant went to the Sean O'Casey Avenue address and found Gilroy lying in a bed. He told officers where to find drugs located on the premises and admitted supplying “grass” to offset a debt.
He said he had been holding the cocaine for others for the same reason.
Detective Garda Caitríona Brody told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that she got a warrant for the same address in February 2017 after seeing Gilroy engage in suspected drug dealing.
During this search, gardaí found €15,347 of cannabis, crack cocaine worth €25,309 and €4,415 in cash. Gilroy took responsibility for the drugs and revealed he had a cocaine and cannabis habit.
He said he was holding the cocaine and acting as “run around” in selling cannabis to offset his now €30,000 drug debt.
Det Gda Gilroy agreed with Fiona Murphy SC, defending, that this debt had been increased because of the drugs seized in the earlier offence. The detective further accepted that Gilroy was “no more than a pawn” in the operation and that there were ongoing threats against his family.
Gardaí intercepted Gilroy in a taxi with a shoebox containing a loaded revolver and ammunition in July 2018.
He told gardaí he'd gotten a call to say a “message” needed to be dropped to a certain place. He said he had handed the shoebox to someone else about three weeks previously and when it was returned to him, it was heavier.
Gilroy said he was told not to look inside the box and attributed the extra weight to it being full of cocaine. He claimed he didn't know it had contained a firearm.
Ms Murphy submitted to Judge Greally that her client had been used as a pawn after he lost control over his own drug habits. She said he was genuinely remorseful.
Judge Greally noted that “the evidence in general, in spite of the enormously serious nature of the offences, has been largely favourable” due to Gilroy's co-operation and the pressure put on him.
She suspended the final three years of his sentence for that period and ordered that he undergo 12 months post release supervision.