Judge adjourns sentencing for year of 60-yr-old heroin addict who transported cocaine

A sixty-year-old Limerick father carried €140,000 worth of cocaine from Limerick to Dublin on the train, a court has heard.

Ronald Walsh told gardaí he transported the cocaine to pay off a drug debt. He said he began taking heroin in his forties to deal with back pain after trying other treatments. He later became addicted.

Walsh of Hilltop, St Patricks Road, Limerick pleaded guilty to possession of a total of €215,000 of cocaine and cannabis herb for sale or supply at Heuston Station, Dublin and St Patricks Road, Limerick on February 2, 2013.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Walsh was offered heroin in 1993 as a result of being in desperate pain.

He described himself as a controlled and functioning heroin addict for five years but said the addiction eventually spiralled out of control.

Judge Desmond Hogan said Walsh had been a good and decent man who had worked hard before this. He adjourned sentence for a year to make sure that Walsh was able to stay off heroin.

Tom Neville BL, defending, said the father of three had returned from the UK in 1986 and bought a taxi plate to support his family. He said Walsh's three children were raised well and are now grown up.

He said the heroin addiction effectively divided his life in two. Once his drug addiction took him over, Walsh disposed of any jewellery and insurance policies he had to pay for drugs, counsel said.

After his arrest last February Walsh went "cold turkey" and has not taken drugs since.

Garda John Dunning said that Walsh was at the bottom rung of the drug dealing ladder and was vulnerable at the time of the offence.

He said Walsh owed money to drug dealers after getting drugs "on tick" and was in genuine fear of these people.

After receiving confidential information, gardaí waited for Walsh at Heuston train station. They arrested him when he arrived on the Cork train and found 2kg of cocaine on him.

A follow-up search of his home in Limerick recovered 1kg of cocaine, €5,000 worth of cannabis herb and a weighing scales.

The court heard that this offence was the second occasion Walsh had carried out a delivery of drugs from Limerick.

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