Gardai find heroin and coke in Dublin house raid while man upstairs with young daughter

Stock image of heroin seized by gardai
Stock image of heroin seized by gardai

A man has been jailed for five years after he was caught with almost €230,000 worth of drugs in the home he shared with his partner and children.

Joseph Finnegan (33) was upstairs with his two-year-old daughter when gardai forced entry into his home.

He immediately directed them to a bedroom wardrobe and the attic when he was asked if there were any drugs in the house.

Gardai then found €212,000 worth of heroin in the attic and €15,211 worth of cocaine in the wardrobe, together with other drug paraphernalia.

Finnegan of Landen Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of 1.5kg of heroin and 217g of cocaine for sale or supply at his home on March 10, 2016. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally said Finnegan didn't inform gardai as to what his role in the operation was after accepting responsibility for the drugs.

She added that the evidence suggested that he didn't have any trappings of wealth but the presence of the drug paraphernalia suggested a more significant role than simply holding or storing the drugs.

Judge Greally accepted that Finnegan had never come to garda attention before or since, had mental health difficulties and had a limited education and employment history.

Garda Michael McNulty told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting that Finnegan took full responsibility for the drugs and said no one else in the house knew about them. He said he "hadn't a clue" as to how much they were worth but accepted it was a lot of drugs.

Gda McNulty agreed with Sean Gillane SC, defending, that Finnegan told gardai he had loans totalling €1,500.

He said gardai were satisfied that Finnegan didn't own the drugs and he led a very basic life.

Mr Gillane said his client had "challenges with learning" as a young boy and was subjected to both physical and mental bullying in school. He left education early and counsel described him as a "functioning illiterate".

He said the family were largely surviving on social welfare and his client had been treated for depression in the past.

Mr Gillane submitted to Judge Greally that Finnegan was very ashamed of what he had done.

"He was in debt and in trouble at the time," counsel told the court.

Sonya McLean