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Heading to court Ex-Sinn Fein election candidate who campaigned against head shops pleads guilty to €15,000 drugs charge

During his 2011 election campaign he listed his involvement in a campaign against head shops as an example of his community involvement.

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Martin Kelly at Naas Court

Martin Kelly at Naas Court

Martin Kelly at Naas Court

A former Sinn Fein election candidate who pleaded guilty to possessing €15,000 worth of drugs has had his sentence hearing delayed to allow him time to find a carer for his sister, who has special needs.

Martin Kelly was caught with cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis after searches of the pub and car park he ran in Naas, Co Kildare.

During his 2011 election campaign he listed his involvement in a campaign against head shops as an example of his community involvement.

In court this week it was heard how Kelly had taken over as his sister's prime carer following the death of their mother last September.

His counsel requested a delay in sentencing to allow for alternative care arrangements to be made in case he gets a prison sentence.

The court was told that if Kelly doesn't come back his sister will be left at A&E.

His defence lawyer added that Kelly is no longer with that "peer group", was not involved in the pub business and would volunteer to provide urine analysis to show he is not using drugs.

Taking into account his early admission to the offences, the fact he has not since come to the attention of the gardai, nor does he have previous convictions, Judge Martina Baxter agreed to the adjournment.

At previous District Court hearing it emerged Kelly faced an allegation of possessing drugs for sale or supply at Newbridge Road, Naas on September 3 last.

A garda said a search of the car park at the Swan Dowlings pub took place followed by a search of the premises.

He added at that hearing that cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy were allegedly found, estimated to have a total value of €15,000.

In 2011 Sinn Fein nominated Martin Kelly, described as a community activist, as the party's candidate in Kildare North.

He won 2,896 first preference votes, which ranked him seventh of the dozen candidates who ran for the Dail in the constituency.

Sinn Fein's press office confirmed Kelly is no longer a member of the party "and has not been for a considerable period of time."

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