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Solicitor accused of bringing cocaine to inmate at Mountjoy Prison

Cocaine worth €25 was allegedly found when his wallet was searched during a professional visit to the jail.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/DedMityay

A SOLICITOR IS facing trial accused of bringing cocaine into an inmate at Mountjoy Prison during a professional visit.

Aonghus McCarthy, 32, faces a single count under Section 15c of the Misuse of Drugs Act for conveying a controlled drug into Mountjoy Prison or a person in the prison on 8 February last. He denies the charge.

Cocaine worth €25 was allegedly found when his wallet was searched, a court heard today.

The solicitor’s practice is based at Conyngham Road, Dublin 8 – directly across from the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) building, where he appeared this morning.

His law firm is also among the panel of solicitors on the free legal aid board assigned to represent clients unable to fund their defence. The firm also has a civil practice.

McCarthy, represented by solicitor Michael Hanahoe, appeared before Judge Anthony Halpin at the Dublin District Court today.

McCarthy, from Co Cork, but who has an address at Wellington House, Clancy Quay, Dublin 8, stood silently during the brief hearing.

He had been charged within the last month and had been granted garda station bail pending his appearance today.

Evidence of the arrest and charging procedure was outlined in a certificate furnished to the judge by Garda Sergeant Eimear Curran.

The sergeant told Judge Halpin the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed “summary disposal” meaning the case was suitable to be heard in the district court and not at circuit court level, which can impose lengthier sentences.

Conveyor belt 

In a summary of the prosecution evidence, the sergeant told the court it would be alleged the defendant entered the prison for a professional visit with an inmate. He went through a search area where he put his belt and wallet on a conveyor belt to be scanned, it was alleged.

Curran alleged that as they passed through the scanner a prison officer observed a black object inside the wallet. The prison officer found a bag with a “white powder substance inside”.

It was suspected that it was a controlled drug and gardaí were contacted, the court heard.

Curran said the accused agreed to be interviewed at Mountjoy Garda Station where he denied having known possession of the suspected drug or that he intended to pass it to an inmate.

The substance was found to contain cocaine worth €25, the court heard.

Judge Halpin accepted jurisdiction for the case to remain in the district court.

Hanahoe said he was seeking a date for a hearing which he said would only take about 15 minutes. He said that there was a single issue which required his client to give evidence.

The court heard that there will also be two State witnesses giving evidence.

Judge Halpin ordered that the trial would take place on 14 March next, but he agreed to Hanahoe’s request for the case to be listed for mention next Friday to see if an earlier trial date was available.

McCarthy was excused from having to attend the case next week. Before his own hearing he had been acting for his clients in other court cases in the CCJ; afterwards he went back to work representing defendants in the district court.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings. 

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Tom Tuite

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