Almost half of drug convictions related to cocaine - report
ALMOST half of all convicted drug offences here were for the possession, importation and sale and supply of cocaine, a new report reveals.
Cocaine offences accounted for 45pc of all drug convictions, followed by heroin, 25pc, cannabis, 21pc, Ecstasy and other amphetamines, 6pc, MDMA 2pc and LSD, 1pc.
The figures are included in a new report from the Irish Sentencing Information System or ISIS, which will be published in full later this week.
The computer database of sentences and other penalties imposed through the courts was introduced in 2010 and is used by judges to assess the range of sentences imposed by the courts for various crimes.
However, just under half or 46pc of drug offenders were sentenced to between five and ten years while more than a quarter of offenders were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
The report complied by the Judicial Researchers Office, also revealed that the value of a drugs haul is one of the most important factors taken into consideration by judges when determining a sentence.
Mitigating factors considered by judges when imposing sentences include absence of a previous criminal record, the unlikelihood of re-offending, demonstration of remorse, duress, health problems, being a foreign national with family living abroad, age and role of the offender, intention to reform and prospect for rehabilitation and vulnerability of the offender.
The full report will be available on www.irishsentencing.ie.
Meanwhile, gardai at Baltinglass, Co Wicklow led an operation involving six other units that led to the seizure of €20,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis today.
Four men in their 20s were arrested following the intelligence-led operation in counties Wicklow and Kildare.
They are being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at garda stations in Enniscorthy, Bray, Athy and Carlow.