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Drug dealer caught after being spotted leaving boxes of cocaine at telephone pole

Detective Stack saw Simon McDonagh arrive and stoop beside the telephone pole to place down two plastic lunch boxes.

File photo
File photo
Image: Leah Farrell

A GARDA SURVEILLANCE on a telephone pole near the Shannon estuary paid off when a 43-year old drug dealer was spotted leaving two plastic lunch boxes that contained 12 bags of cocaine at the pole.

At Ennis District Court today, Simon McDonagh of Aonach An Chláir, Clarecastle pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supplying cocaine contrary to Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on 14 March 2017.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court that the cocaine had a street value of €660.

McDonagh also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Judge Patrick Durcan described the circumstances of the find as ‘fascinating’ and said that he regarded the offence as very much at the upper end of Section 15 offences.

Giving an outline of the facts in the case, Inspector Tom Kennedy told the district court that Detective Garda Gary Stack was conducting a surveillance operation in a rural area at Lissane West, outside Clarecastle near the Shannon estuary on 14 March 2017.

Inspector Kennedy said that Detective Stack then saw Simon McDonagh arrive and stoop down beside the telephone pole and place the two plastic lunch boxes and went away again.

Detective Stack waited for someone else to arrive at the telephone pole.

When no one arrived, Detective Stack went over to the pole and discovered the two lunch boxes contained 12 bags of cocaine.

Kennedy said that there were other dealing bags found in the lunch boxes.

Inspector Kennedy said that McDonagh admitted to gardai to selling the cocaine and that the proceeds were for to pay the cost of his own requirements for cocaine. Inspector Kennedy said that McDonagh has no previous convictions for drug offences.

Inspector Kennedy said that McDonagh left the cocaine at the telephone pole so that he could direct others to the area if they required the cocaine.

Inspector Kennedy said that the area “came onto the garda radar in the context of a garda operation”.

Judge Durcan remanded McDonagh on bail to re-appear before the court on 26 June for a pre-sentence probation report.

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Gordon Deegan

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