Sunday 18 August 2019

Woman who became an Internet sensation as Daniel O'Donnell's superfan is charged in high-tech cocaine factory raid

Molly-Kate Sloan and Daniel O'Donnell
Molly-Kate Sloan and Daniel O'Donnell
Molly-Kate Sloan on The Late Late Show

Ralph Riegel

A young woman who became an Internet sensation as Daniel O'Donnell's No 1 superfan was amongst a group of four people charged in relation to a Garda raid on a suspected high-tech cocaine extraction factory.

Molly Sloyan (25) appeared before a Cork district court in relation to the cocaine factory charge - one year after a video of her in the audience of RTE's The Late Late Show for a St Valentine's Day special went viral.

Viewers were captivated by her reaction to the fact the show featured a Daniel O'Donnell impersonation by comedian Mario Rosenstock rather than a song by the Donegal star himself.

Video clips of the young woman's expression in the audience switching from delight to horror when she realised that it wasn’t the real Daniel who would be performing went viral on the Internet.

Molly-Kate Sloan on The Late Late Show
Molly-Kate Sloan on The Late Late Show

The Donegal singer eventually became aware of the Internet sensation and issued his own special video invitation to meet up with the young woman at one of his concerts.

Mr O'Donnell eventually met up with Ms Sloyan in Kerry and she attended his sold-out show in the Killarney INEC in August 2016.

Yesterday, the young woman was amongst four people charged in relation to a garda raid on a suspected cocaine extraction factory in Bantry, Co Cork.

Gardaí recovered more than €70,000 in drugs from the Bantry property which they believed was at the centre of a sophisticated operation where cocaine soaked into clothing imported from Brazil was removed via a special chemical process and then sold on the Irish market.

Four people, three men and a woman, were arrested during the garda operation and all appeared before Bandon District Court yesterday.

Judge Mary Dorgan was told the State was objecting to bail being granted for all four defendants.

The defendants included three men with Dublin addresses - Sean McManus (36) from Burrowfield Road, Baldoyle, Dublin, William (51) and Dean(26) Gilsenan, both of Kilmahuddick Green, Clondalkin, Dublin - as well as one woman with Spanish and Cork addresses, Molly Sloyan (25), from Abbey Court, Kinsale, Cork but also with an address at Benidorm , Alicante, Spain.

All four appeared before Bandon District Court amid a strong garda security operation.

The defendants all face two charges each namely possession of cocaine for sale or supply contrary to two sections of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Judge Dorgan was told that the Gilsenans, a father and son, made no reply when the charges were formally put to them while McManus also did not reply to arresting gardaí.

Similarly, the court was told that Sloyan made no reply to gardaí on being charged.

All the charges relate to alleged events at Seascape, Drumleigh, Bantry, Co Cork on November 26 last when the property was searched by gardaí on foot of a warrant.

Judge Dorgan was told gardaí were objecting to bail for the defendants on a number of grounds.

Det Garda Andrew Manning, Det Garda Padraic Sleator, Det Garda Shannon Ryan and Det Garda Colin O'Mahony set out detailed reasons for the bail objections ranging from the serious nature of the charges to the fact that several of the defendants had been living abroad for a time.

In outlining the case, gardaí informed Judge Dorgan that the four had been arrested at the scene when officers raided a suspected cocaine extraction factory outside Bantry.

The court was told that a chemical called Isopropranol was being used in special vats to extract cocaine from cloth which had been imported from South America.

Judge Dorgan was told more than one kilo of cocaine was recovered at the scene by gardaí.

The court was told that gardaí will now be preparing evidence ranging from credit card data to postal records and from flight bookings to a video which explains how to extract cocaine from imbedded clothing.

Judge Dorgan was also told that gardaí believe the Bantry plant had links to an organised crime group with international connections.

The court heard that Dean Gilsenan was now reserving his position on a bail application.

Judge Dorgan accepted the garda submissions and refused bail to the other three defendants.

All four were remanded in custody to appear again before Clonakilty District Court on December 5.

A book of evidence will now be prepared with the matter set to be dealt with by Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

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