A man caught with seven bags of cocaine in Kinsale during the weekend of the Rugby Sevens event has been given a six-month jail sentence.
Kieran Kiely, of Curra, Belgooly in Co Cork, had pleaded guilty on January 16 last to possession of cocaine and possession for the purposes of sale or supply on May 4 last year at Market Place in Kinsale.
Det Garda Colin O'Mahony told Judge James McNulty that at 5.10pm while on plainclothes duty he came upon Mr Kiely, now 27, and conducted a search in which seven bags of cocaine as well as €395 in cash was found.
Mr Kiely, an apprentice carpenter, was taken to Bandon Garda Station, where he made certain admissions, and then on August 20 last year he was arrested on the sale or supply charge and interviewed again, when he again made certain admissions.
He had admitted to owning the seven bags of cocaine on what was the weekend of the Kinsale Rugby Sevens event.
Det Garda O'Mahony said text messages indicated sale or supply to a set of friends over a period of months, an assertion for which Mr Kiely offered no explanation.
Judge McNulty reviewed evidence of the text messages, one of which went back to New Year's Day 2019, when a woman called Grace contacted Mr Kiely asking for a €50 bag.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak here Mr Kiely did not meet face-to-face with the Probation Officer for the purposes of the probation report produced before court and Judge McNulty queried whether Mr Kiely had been "entirely truthful or candid".
Mr Kiely's solicitor, Eamonn Fleming, countered that his client had referred in his dealings with the Probation Service to abusing cocaine on a weekly basis and "going off the rails at the time".
He said his client told gardaí that he had been "sorting out a few of my buddies", which Mr Kiely had described as "a tight group of 10 or so" people.
Det Garda O'Mahony said Mr Kiely had still failed to answer some question.
Judge McNulty said a "lovely letter" issued to court by Mr Kiely's mother had also referred to her son's misdemeanours as "a once-off situation", adding: "she has been misled."
Mr Fleming argued with that interpretation but Judge McNulty said: "The truth is that he was dealing drugs for some time."
Mr Fleming said his client had undergone addiction counselling, was "deeply ashamed" of his offending and had done everything possible to mend his ways but the judge said the offences warranted a custodial sentence.
He handed Mr Kiely a six-month jail term and fined him €1,000 for the simple drugs possession charge. An appeal was lodged on Mr Kiely's own bond of €1,000, no cash required.