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Man charged with possession of €3million of heroin and cocaine given bail

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Pat Burnell
Pat Burnell

A FURNITURE removal man has been granted bail after he was charged over a seizure of almost €3m worth of heroin and cocaine in Dublin on Wednesday night.

The Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, with the assistance of the Tallaght Drugs Unit, intercepted a vehicle at Greenhills Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24.

Two men were arrested and brought to Tallaght Garda Station where they were held under Section Two of the Drug Trafficking Act. They were charged on Thursday evening and brought to appear before Judge John Coughlan at Dublin District Court today.

Father-of-two Pat Burnell (34), a furniture removal man from Kiltalown Road, Tallaght and Joseph Hickey (41) from Ulster St, Phibsborough, Dublin 7, were charged with possessing heroin and cocaine for sale or supply.

Gda Sergeant Brian Cagney and Gda Stephen Coller of Tallaght Drugs Unit told Judge Coughlan that both men “made no reply” when the charges were put to them. They have not yet indicated how they will plead.

Mr Hickey, dressed in a orange polo shirt and light grey tracksuit bottoms, consented to being remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court next Wednesday. 

Gda Sgt Cagney said he was objecting to Mr Burnell's bail application on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence and the nature of the evidence in support of the charge. He said the seizure of cocaine and heroin was worth approximately €2.8m and it was likely there would be “further more serious charges”.

Gda Sgt Cagney agreed with Judge Coughlan that it was alleged Mr Burnell was “caught in the act” and he feared he would “flee the jurisdiction.”

Gda Sgt Cagney also said that if the court decided to grant bail there should be an independent surety with a “substantial amount and strict conditions”.

Defence solicitor Tracy Horan asked the judge to note that Mr Burnell was a married father of two-children living and working in the Tallaght area. He had no prior criminal convictions, the solicitor also said.

She told the court Mr Burnell's father, who was present, was a respectable man, and offering to stand bail.

Judge Coughlan said the case was serious but he was inclined to grant bail in the defendant's own bond of €20,000 and he allowed the man's father to act as an independent surety in the sum of €10,000.

The defendant was also told he must continue to reside at his current address and sign on once a week at Tallaght Garda station.

He was warned that he has to provide a mobile phone number to gardai and be contactable 24 hours a day. He must surrender his passport and undertake not to apply for new travel documents, the judge also ordered.

Mr Burnell, dressed in striped shirt, grey trousers and black shoes, was remanded with consent to bail and ordered to appear at again on December 11 next.