Man jailed for trying to throw contraband into Cloverhill Prison


A man who was caught trying to throw a football with mobile phones hidden inside into a prison has been jailed.

Gardai on patrol were driving past Dublin's Cloverhill prison when they spotted Niall Cully (27) standing inside the railings around the prison. They stopped Cully and found he was holding an orange plastic football with a hole cut into it and four mobile phones inside it.

Cully admitted he was trying to throw the ball into the prison. He said he had come under pressure to get the phones into the prison and said his brother was inside awaiting trial for murder.

Cully of Kippure Park, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trying to bring mobile phones into a prison at Cloverhill Road on April 2, 2016.

Garda Kevin O'Connell agreed with Vincent Heneghan BL, defending, that Cully was standing under a bright light and was having difficulty getting the ball across the prison walls.

He also agreed that prisoners had no access to the area Cully was trying to throw the ball into. Judge Martin Nolan told counsel that foolishness was not a mitigating factor.

Mr Heneghan said his client had been threatened and came under pressure to get the phones in. He said Cully did it in a stupid way under the glare of prison lights.

Judge Nolan said Cully went about breaking the law in a foolish and ineffective manner. He said it was a fool's errand as the prisoners would never have received the phones.

He said the prison authorities have a difficult enough job trying to mind prisoners. He jailed Cully for ten months which he said was “a warning” to him that crime was a risky business.

In June 2014 Cully was still serving the suspended portion of a five year sentence, imposed by Judge Nolan in November 2011, for an offence of possession of firearms in suspicious circumstances. In that case Cully was one of three men involved in an incident in which a co-accused shot a man in the neck.

Judge Nolan said that the court had given Cully a chance then and it didn't work. He had no other convictions.