Young man caught with €48k worth of cannabis in bedroom

By Isabel Hayes

A young man who was 17-years -old when he was caught with more than €48,000 worth of cannabis in his bedroom has been given a two-year suspended sentence.

Darragh Corbally, now aged 20, was asleep in his bedroom when gardai raided his home searching for drugs. The then fifth-year student had run up a drug debt and been excluded from school, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard previously.

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

When the teenager was told how much the drugs were worth, he started crying and asked gardai to say “sorry to me ma”, the court heard.

Corbally, with an address in Sperrin Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cannabis for sale or supply at the same address on December 22, 2017. The charge carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 years.

Corbally’s sentence was adjourned to this summer to allow him to complete his Leaving Cert. Sentencing him on Friday, Judge Karen O’Connor noted he has made great progress in turning his life around.

The court heard Corbally has engaged intensively with the Probation Service and built up a good relationship with his drugs counsellor. He has been offered a place at third level education to study social care.

Handing down a suspended two year sentence, Judge O’Connor said she was confident she would not be meeting Corbally again. She said she could depart from the mandatory minimum sentence given his youth when offending as well as his early guilty plea and other factors.

She said Corbally had worked hard in school while working part-time in a pub and engaging with all of the services offered to him. His drug counsellor said it was a “pleasure” to help him, the court heard.

“All too frequently in this court, young people are preyed upon by people involved in the sale and supply of drugs,” the judge noted.

Garda Damien Quirke previously told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that Corbally’s house was placed under surveillance before a decision was made to execute a bench warrant. When they called to the house, they were told two children were asleep in the home. One of the children was Corbally.

When woken by gardai, he immediately admitted to possessing the cannabis, which was found at the end of his bed. A total of 2,411g of cannabis with a street value of €48,236 was seized.

Corbally told gardai he had started using cannabis the previous summer and had run up a debt. He said he was ordered to hold the drugs as a result. When asked by gardai how much he thought it was worth, he replied “a big bit”.

When asked if he wanted to say anything else, he replied: “Sorry to my ma.”

Ronan Kennedy SC, defending, submitted his client’s responses to gardai were somewhat “childish”, which he said reflected his youth and immaturity.

The court heard Corbally was living with his mother and younger sister at the time of the offence and his mother was experiencing some difficulties. He has since moved in with his grandmother, who was in court to support him.

Two weeks prior to the offence, Corbally was excluded from school, the court heard. He didn’t have many friends and didn’t take part in any activities. “He was a young man who had lost direction,” Mr Kennedy said.

In the last two years, Corbally has got a part-time job and returned to education.

“He got a dog for his 18th birthday and that has given him another outlet,” Mr Kennedy said.

He urged Judge O’Connor to take Corbally’s youth and immaturity into consideration, as well as his early guilty plea and co-operation with gardai. A period of detention could have “detrimental effects” and be counter-productive to his progress, the court heard.

Corbally has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since. He is no longer using drugs.

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