Young people caught dabbling in drugs have been told to co-operate fully with the gardaí or face a conviction.
Judge Mary Devins made the comments at last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court where 19-year-old Andrew McNeela of Barnastang, Glenisland, was charged with the possession of ecstasy and diazepam for his own use. He refused to say where he got the drugs from.
Garda Tyrone Tobin explained that there was ‘an element of fear’ in the defendant’s refusal. However, Judge Devins said young people who appear before the court soon realise they are caught between ‘a rock and a hard place’.
“Young people who are brought before the court on minor offences realise they are caught between a rock and a hard place. I’ll be the hard place with the rock will be the supplier. They will only escape a conviction by co-operating,” she said.
Gardaí discovered the drugs when Mr McNeela was stopped and searched by Garda Tobin on Pound Street, Castlebar, on June 23, 2011. An ecstasy tablet was found in his hoody, and ten diazepam tablets were found in a plastic bag in the pocket of his jeans. The drugs were worth €25 in total.
Mr Patrick Moran, solicitor for the defendant said his client had co-operated with the Gardaí and had no previous convictions. He said he was in the process of obtaining a welding qualification and that a conviction would cause him difficulties. Mr Moran asked that the sentence be put back for a period of time to prove that Mr McNeela was facing up to his problems.
Judge Devins agreed to adjourn sentencing until July 18 – but only on the condition that he co-operates fully with the gardaí.