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Saturday 20 September 2014

GAA coach jailed for seven years for involvement in distribution of almost €600,000 worth of cannabis

By Conor Gallagher

Published 29/07/2014 | 14:36

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David Gill (38) was caught delivering the drugs in his van during a garda surveillance operation in Stillorgan

A GAA coach has been jailed for seven years for his involvement in the distribution of almost €600,000 worth of cannabis.

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David Gill (38) was caught delivering the drugs in his van during a garda surveillance operation in Stillorgan.

A follow up search of a container he used revealed a large amount of the drug in various forms. A further search of Gill’s home uncovered €30,000 hidden in a pool table.

An investigating garda told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Gill was being used as a “disposable and safe” mule by “a respected and feared figure in the criminal fraternity.”

The court heard Gill is heavily involved in organising and coaching GAA in his community and that garda said that the high ranking criminal took advantage of Gill’s position as someone who wouldn’t attract garda attention.

Gill, a father of four from The Pines, Leopardstown Road, pleaded guilty to possessing the drug at three locations within Dublin on August 22, 2013.

Judge Martin Nolan noted Gill’s previous good character but said that he was involved in distributing drugs for reward “on an industrial scale.” He said he doesn’t think he will reoffend but that the amount of the drugs involved warrants a severe custodial sentence.

Detective Garda Val Russell told prosecuting counsel Paul Carroll BL that a surveillance operation spotted Gill leaving the Stillorgan lockup in his van and drive to a restaurant in the JFK industrial Estate in Bluebell.

He was seen handing over a black bag to another man which was later found to contain a kilogram of cannabis when that man was stopped nearby.

Gardaí stopped Gill’s van a short time later and found 35 packs of cannabis, weighing 8.5kgs, in Ikea bags in the back. A further 19.5kgs were found in the lockup. The total value of the seized drugs was €580,000.

Gill made full admissions in interview and said he was being paid €500 to make deliveries that day. He said half of the €30,000 in his house belonged to him and that he was holding the rest for someone else.

Defence counsel Pauline Walley SC said Gill has no previous convictions and worked as a courier until he lost his job in 2010. She said he was trying to provide for his family by distributing the drugs.

Counsel said he was “hugely” involved in several GAA clubs in his area as well as the Glenmore Dundrum soccer club.

Ms Walley added that Gill wanted to plead guilty before he had even seen the book of evidence but was discouraged from doing so by his solicitor. He later entered an early guilty plea.

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