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High price Brothers jailed over €43,000 cannabis kept in their homes to pay off drug debt

Dean Riordan was living in the first house with his grandmother and he told gardaí they would find cannabis in his bedroom.

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Cannabis (stock)

Cannabis (stock)

Cannabis (stock)

Two brothers who were caught holding just over €43,000 worth of cannabis in order to pay off a drug debt have been jailed.

Dean Riordan (28) of Fairlawn Road, Finglas South, Dublin 11, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at a rented house in Prospect Hill, also in Finglas, and to possession of a grenade and shot gun cartridges at his home on March 4, 2019.

Luke Riordan (25), also of Fairlawn Road, pleaded guilty to possession of the cannabis for sale or supply at the house in Prospect Hill.

Garda Shane Guinan told Gráinne O’Neill BL, prosecuting, that warrants were secured to search both houses in Finglas on March 4, 2019.

Dean Riordan was living in the first house with his grandmother and he told gardaí they would find cannabis in his bedroom. He then pointed out two large bags of cannabis and a small amount of cannabis was found on his brother Luke, who was with him at the time.

A small jar of cannabis and further tubs of cannabis were found in Luke’s bedroom in the second house that was searched. A small amount of cocaine, a black hand gun and a revolver with plastic pellets, a grenade, shotgun cartridges and bullets were also found.

Gda Guinan said a further amount of cannabis and magic mushrooms were found in a black holdall along with watches, knuckle dusters, extendable batons, cash and a phone.

Dean Riordan took responsibility for all the firearms.

The larger haul of drugs - the cannabis - had a total value of €43,310 and the smaller quantity of drugs was valued at €810. Both Dean and Luke were arrested but nothing came out of this interview with the gardaí.

Dean has one previous conviction for a traffic offence and Luke has 11 previous convictions, including one for having drugs for sale or supply that were all dealt with in the District Court.

Gda Guinan agreed with Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, that Dean Riordan got involved in the offence to feed his own habit and any money he raised through his involvement went into paying off his drug debt.

He accepted that the various weapons found were “not part of an arsenal but more in the nature of a collection of items and more along the lines of memorabilia”.

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Gda Guinan agreed with Paul Murray SC, defending, that Luke was also holding the drugs in order to pay off a €1,000 drug debt.

Mr Ó Lideadha SC told Judge Elma Sheahan that Dean Riordan was a good father who tries his best and he handed in a large number of letters and testimonials which described him as family-oriented and a trustworthy employee.

Judge Sheahan accepted that Luke Riordan regrets his actions and has made efforts to rehabilitate but she said holding drugs plays a vital role in the drug industry as those in charge “need a safe route of passage of cargo to get to the addict”.

She acknowledged that he has a previous conviction for a similar offence and he had not taken the opportunity given to him then for rehabilitation.

Judge Sheahan sentenced Luke Riordan to three years and four months with the final four months suspended for 12 months on condition that he engage with the Probation Service for those 12 months.

She accepted that Dean Riordan had made significant efforts to turn his life around since his arrest and sentenced him to four years and two months with the final six months suspended for 12 months on strict conditions.

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