Drugs court to begin in February
A drugs court has been set up in Dundalk, and will sit at 11.30am on the first Thursday of the month, starting next February.
Judge Coughlan, who has been pushing for this service since coming to the area, made the announcement on Wednesday at the weekly district court.
The primary aim and purpose of the drugs court is 'the reduction of crime through rehabilitation of the offender, but not excluding punishment should the circumstances so warrant'.
The offender is obliged to comply with terms of a programme tailored to his or her requirements and circumstances.
A 32-year-old woman, before Dundalk court last week, has had her case adjourned to the new drugs court on Thursday, 1 February, 2018, and she was told by the judge she is its first case.
The defendant has been warned the gardaí will have to be satisfied she is suitable for the drugs court.
She will also have to liaise with the probation service, and provide urines for analysis.
However, if the accused goes through the court successfully, the charges against her will be struck out, Judge Coughlan said.
The woman admitted a number of charges, including the unlawful possession of €20 worth of cannabis at Market Street, Dundalk, on 23 May, 2016; and unlawful possession of traces of diamorphine (heroin) on tin foil in Culhane Street, Dundalk, on 16 May, 2016.