Sunday 24 September 2017

Dublin hurler caught with €8k worth of cocaine was 'duped by a sinister individual' into carrying package

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Stock Picture

Andrew Phelan

A Dublin hurler and GAA coach caught with more than €8,000 worth of cocaine had been “duped by a sinister individual” into carrying the package, a court heard.

Mark Maguire (20) had been naive and “easily led” when he agreed to take the drugs from a man in a car.

Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out, leaving Maguire without a criminal record after he donated €2,000 to a drugs charity.

Maguire, of Glendown Avenue, Templeogue, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs with intent to supply in an incident in south Dublin on July 10, 2015.

He was described as a talented and promising player on St Jude's Senior Hurling Team in Terenure, and coached junior players.

The facts of the case were heard in June 2016 and Judge Walsh had adjourned it for a year to “see how he got on.”

When it came back before Dublin District Court, defence barrister Ronan Kennedy said Maguire had not come to garda attention since and his behaviour has been “exemplary” in the intervening period. He completed the Leaving Certificate and since January he had been working full time in an apprenticeship.

A letter from his parents was also furnished to the court and counsel said that reflected the efforts Maguire made to address particular issues in his life. He had done everything asked of him and demonstrated a positive attitude to rehabilitation.

Mr Kennedy said it was a “one-off” and  Maguire had been “duped by a sinister individual to carry a package”.

Maguire had a bright future, had shown remorse and had no prior convictions. The accused had been diagnosed with ADHD, a medical report stated.

The judge said the accused has gone back to leisure activities and is his playing hurling for his club and noted his efforts to turn his life around.

Judge Walsh said that some people say everyone was entitled to a chance.

Previously, the court heard gardai carrying out an operation followed a man in a car and Maguire walked over and received a small package, which he put in his pocket.

When gardai stopped him and retrieved it, it was found to contain €8,600 worth of cocaine.

Maguire was arrested and brought to Tallaght Garda Station.

An individual who "he regarded as a friend" had contacted Maguire and asked him to do a favour for him, the court heard.

"The individual prevailed upon him and his suspicions were raised; he thought it could contain a small quantity of drugs but he had no idea of the seriousness of what was involved," Mr Kennedy said.

It was a "stupid mistake" and the accused admitted that he had been "easily led on."

There was no evidence found on the accused or at his house that he had been dealing drugs.

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