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Sunday 31 August 2014

Coach ‘asked to get ecstasy from players’

Eimear Cotter

Published 12/06/2014 | 09:55

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Are we taking too many pills we just don't need?

A football coach caught with ecstasy tablets after his car was stopped by gardai had been asked to get them by a relative.

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Stephen Cummins (29) was asked to source the tablets because a relative believed he could get them “through other players on the football team”.

Cummins, a salesman and married father-of-two, accepted his behaviour was very foolish.

He begged a judge to leave him without a conviction, saying he needs garda clearance in his job.

Describing the drug as “tablets of death”, Judge David McHugh ordered Cummins to donate €2,000 to Blanchardstown Hospice and said he would strike out the charges.

The defendant, of Kilshane Road in Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to possession of ecstasy as well as having the drug for sale or supply.

The incident took place at Finglas Garda Station on January 10 last.

Garda Sergeant Mary Doherty said gardai stopped Cummins driving a 2005-registered vehicle.

He was searched and found with 244 ecstasy tablets.

Sgt Doherty said the tablets sell from €8 to €10, giving a street value of between €1,952 and €2,440.

The sergeant said Cummins co-operated fully with officers and was candid when he was interviewed.

The court heard Cummins has never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor John O’Doherty said a relative of the defendant approached Cummins asking him if he could get ecstasy tablets.

Mr O’Doherty said Cummins is involved in sport, and his relative believed he would be able to get ecstasy “through other players on the football team”.

Mr O’Doherty said Cummins doesn’t even drink and said he made “an appalling mistake” and had put his future employment prospects at risk.

Cummins is active in his community in a positive way and he has qualifications in coaching and first aid, Mr O’Doherty added.

He is involved with a football club and trains an U15 team.

Mr O’Doherty asked the judge to leave Cummins without a conviction, saying it would have a devastating effect on him and his family.

Ordering Cummins to make a donation to avoid a conviction, Judge McHugh said he accepted there were strong mitigating factors.

hnews@herald.ie

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