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Man who sold drugs to pay debt avoids jail

A DUBLIN man who sold heroin to undercover gardai on four separate occasions was trying to clear his own cocaine debt when he was "put under pressure" to deal drugs, a court heard.

Derek Geraghty (25) sold bags of heroin to the plainclothes officers in Tallaght four times over a three-month period, a court heard.

He has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service to avoid a six-month sentence.

Geraghty, with an address at Rossfield Grove, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply.

The incidents happened at Cloonmore Lawns on February 28, 2011, Cloonmore Park on March 9 and 10 last year and at Brookfield Road on May 11, 2011.

Sgt Carmel Henry told Tallaght District Court the accused sold €20 worth of the drug to a garda on the first occasion and three bags worth €50 on each of the others. He was detected as part of an operation targeting the sale of drugs in the Tallaght area.

The court heard the deals were organised using a mobile phone that was seized in a search of the defendant's home under warrant in October last year.

Geraghty was subsequently arrested and detained. He had a previous conviction for drug sale or supply, for which he had been given a community service order.