Court hears how unemployment led man to deal drugs



A Dublin man was sentenced to 10 years for the possession of 2,500 ecstasy tablets, 58 kilos of cannabis, and 1.25 kilos of cocaine at the Dublin Circuit Court today.

The drugs were seized from his house in Finglas in March 2012, along with €144,000 in cash.

Christopher Seery (34) presented himself in Finglas Garda station the day following the seizure.

Sergeant Shane McCarthy told the court gardai were “convinced” Seery was holding the majority of the drugs and cash for associates.

He said gardai did not want Seery to take responsibility for all the seized drugs. Seery would not say who he was holding the drugs and cash for however, because he “didn’t want to put his kids’ lives in danger.”

A firearm was discharged at Seery’s front door following his release on bail. McCarthy said it was “possible he (Seery) is being held accountable for the loss of the drugs and cash.”

Reluctance to name associates aside, McCarthy said Seery was “candid” during questioning, and cooperated fully with gardai.

He told gardai he had been selling cannabis for approximately one year, and ecstasy and cocaine for approximately for three months.

He became “very emotional” during questioning, and “broke down crying, saying he should have followed his family’s advice.”

McCarthy said Seery had a “good, respectable family background”, and had made “a few bad decisions.”

He has three brothers and five sisters, none of whom are known to the gardai.

The court heard Seery had been employed as a roofer until 2009, when the downturn in the economy contributed to his losing his job. His wife had been employed by a pharmaceutical company until 2010.

Unemployed, he started taking cocaine and mixing with criminals. During questioning, he told gardai he saw an opportunity to make money and began dealing.

In sentencing, Justice Martin Nolan took into account Seery’s guilty plea, his cooperation with gardai, his employment history, and his relationship with his wife and three children.

He noted Seery’s criminal record comprised five offences not related to drug dealing and that the offences had been committed some time ago.

He accepted there were two component parts to the cash and drugs seized: drugs Seery was selling for his own profit, and drugs and cash he was holding for others.

In handing Seery a ten year sentence however, he said he had to consider the amount of drugs seized, Seery’s “deep involvement” with drug dealing, and the “appetite for cash he displayed.”

He said Seery had made a “reprehensible misjudgement.”

Eoghan McNeill

Cash-in-transit stolen in Finglas



A man armed with a handgun yesterday held up the driver of a cash-in-transit van, escaping with a deposit box filled with cash.

The armed robbery – which occurred in Finglas yesterday afternoon at approximately 2.50pm – is one of many in Dublin recent months.

According to the Garda press office, a car used in the robbery was later found abandoned.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation continues.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information to call Finglas Garda station on 01 666 7500.

Paul Doyle

Man with ‘severe learning difficulties’ will serve seven years for sexual assault



A man (20) with severe learning difficulties was sentenced to 7 and half years with 2 years suspended by Justice Barry White earlier this afternoon.

He pleaded guilty during an earlier hearing to sexually assaulting Michelle Hennessy, aged 26, which was later upgraded to ‘aggravated sexual assault’ under section 3 of the Criminal Law (RAPE) (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1990.

The attack occurred on the 29th of January 2011. Sean Thackaberry, with an address in Kildare, was escorting the victim home from a night out. Mr Justice Barry White said that the length of the sentence had been dictated by the fact that Thackaberry was ‘in a position of trust to escort her home’.

The court heard that the defendant had attacked the woman 250 metres from her home by pushing her over a wall before sexually assaulting her.

Gardaí on the scene were alerted when they heard the woman screaming. ‘She was hysterical,’ said Sargent Anne Thompson.  Evidence was given describing the woman’s injuries which she suffered while ‘physically resisting the attack’. Her injuries included extensive bruising to her body. The attack lasted 20 minutes.

Thackaberry was apprehended on the scene and was later held by Gardaí after the victim’s DNA, as well as his own, was found on the inside of his boxer shorts. Thackaberry gave the sample voluntarily. He was accompanied by his mother during questioning due to his severe learning disabilities.

Justice Barry White said that the 2 years suspended on his sentence were given as a result of his compliance with Gardaí.

During the victim impact statement Sharron Hennessy, sister to the victim, described her as an ‘outgoing, bubbly person’. She said Michelle was ‘afraid to walk out of the house’ following the incident and stopped her from engaging in her passion for skydiving.

Quoting her sister, Sharron Hennessy said: ‘I feel safer in the air than on the ground’

Thackaberry was said to have severe learning difficulties with a literacy level equivalent to that of a ‘six year old’. He had been abusing alcohol and cannabis and had ‘attempted suicide several times after the death of his grandparents’.

He had become known to Gardaí after he began ‘hanging around the area at night’.

Thackabbery remained silent for the duration of the sentencing, only responding ‘ye’ when asked if he understood his sentence.

Michelle Hennessy was unable to give evidence as she has since deceased. Her death was not noted as having a connection to the attack.

Eoghan Regan