TWO childhood friends who were caught selling crack cocaine to undercover gardai have claimed they were forced to do it in an effort to pay off their drug debts.
Liam Evans (18) and David McGuinness (20) built up drug debts after they started smoking cannabis, and they had to repay what they owed.
Evans, with an address at Harelawn Avenue, and McGuinness, at Harelawn Drive, both in Clondalkin, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to possession of cocaine and having the drug for sale or supply.
The incident took place at Finches shops, Neilstown Road, in Clondalkin on April 6 last year.
Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan said Evans and McGuinness sold a bag of crack cocaine, worth about €50, to undercover gardai.
The court heard that McGuinness had 11 previous convictions, all for road traffic matters, while Evans had never been in trouble before.
Defence solicitor Richard Young said the two men were friends, and they were forced into selling drugs after they built up a drug debt.
In relation to Evans, Mr Young said he was unemployed but hoped to begin work soon as a truck driver's assistant. Mr Young said Evans hadn't been in trouble since the incident.
In relation to McGuinness, the court heard the defendant and his family had moved away from Clondalkin, as his family was concerned about the trouble he was getting into.
Mr Young said McGuinness had been clean of drugs for 18 months, but was dealing due to the debt he owned.
He said both defendants were very young, and naive, and there was an element of peer pressure to them getting involved in drugs, and further pressure to pay off their debt.
Judge Patrick McMahon said the murders in Dublin are caused by people like the defendants. The judge fined them both €600.