Saturday 16 November 2019

Men caught in garda 'sting' remanded in custody

Fiona Ferguson

TWO men caught in an undercover garda operation targeting the supply of drugs have been remanded in custody until May to allow them address their own addictions.

The "facilitator" Karl Fish (27) introduced an undercover garda to "amateur" Declan Tynan (23) who supplied €500 of heroin to the garda but forgot to take any money for the drugs.


Tynan of Vincent Street Flats and Fish of Ashgrove, The Coombe pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to supply of a controlled drug at Vincent Street Flats on March 16, 2011.


Tynan also pleaded guilty to possession of heroin for sale or supply on the same occasion.


Fish has 77 previous convictions while Tynan has 21 previous convictions.


Judge Mary Ellen Ring noted that both men had been treated leniently by the courts in the past but were still abusing drugs having not availed of the “rehabilitative opportunities” of non custodial sentences.


She said it was the courts experience that rehabilitation while still abusing drugs was not likely to have a positive outcome. She said in these circumstances the court was left with very few options apart from the “final option” of a custodial sentence.


After consulting with their solicitors both Fish and Tynan agreed to a remand in custody to give them an opportunity to supply clean drug tests to the court before sentencing.


Judge Ring adjourned sentencing until May and remanded both men in custody.


Garda Gillian Moran told Colm O’Briain BL, prosecuting, that gardai were in possession of information linking a mobile phone number to the provision of drugs.


An undercover garda rang the number, said he had €500 and met with Fish who told him he would "sort him out."


They went to a flat complex where Fish made a call saying they had arrived. There was a whistle from upstairs and they went up to meet Tynan who gave the garda a bag of a substance he believed to be heroin.


Tynan told the garda "Ring me any time, that’s the best gear around" before telling him to "go on." The garda left without handing over the €500 but later spoke to Tynan on the phone and met him on March 19th when he handed over the money.


Tynan and Fish were subsequently arrested and interviewed.


Gda Moran agreed with James Dwyer BL, defending Fish, that his client was "the facilitator" and it was not suggested he had drugs. Fish told gardai he had got involved because he "hadn't a shilling" and it was "an easy 100 quid".


Gda Moran agreed with Eoghan Cole BL, defending Tynan, that it was "unusual" that Tynan had forgotten to relieve the purchaser of the drugs of any money at the time. She agreed gardai were aware of a "serious and credible threat" to Tynan's safety.


Mr Dwyer said Fish was a father of two whose own parents had died within months of each other when he was a child and he lived with his grandmother.


He said Fish was not in possession of the drug but had participated in its supply. He submitted that Fish appeared to be making efforts to rehabilitate himself and asked the court to design a sentence to facilitate that.


Mr Cole said Tynan was a father of one who had been a known drug user from a young age. He lost his brother, to whom he was very close, in 2008 and comes from a good family.


He said Tynan had been engaging with rehabilitative services but after suffering a relapse found himself in hospital six months ago having overdosed on cocaine. Tynan had been "near to death's door" and was told if he continued on this path he would die.


Mr Cole said Tynan was now committed to avoiding that but accepted his client would not currently test negative for drugs.


He submitted the enterprise had not been accomplished or sophisticated. He said an "accomplished drug dealer" would be expected to extract money at the time and not wait and hope the person would get back in touch.


Mr Cole described Tynan as "an amateur and something of a fool" and not a hardened criminal.

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