‘Buncrana ok’ but Letterkenny ‘rife with drugs’ - solicitor

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A top Inishowen solicitor says Letterkenny has a “thriving drug culture” compared to other towns in the county.

Buncrana man, Ciaran MacLochliann told Letterkenny District Court that his client who was “a habitual drug user” had done “OK” with his addiction problems when he moved to Buncrana eight years ago but returned to drug use and drug dealing when he moved to Letterkenny after he “fell in” with others in the drug scene in the Cathedral Town.

The former Donegal State Solicitor said: “This town has a thriving drug culture,” he stated.

A 43-year-old father of seven was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to a charge of possessing two 9oz bars of cannabis for sale or supply in Letterkenny last July.

Mr. MacLochlainn acknowledged that drugs could be found in most towns and villages through out the county but he said Letterkenny has a large drug scene that “sucked in” his client through locals who encouraged him to travel to Dublin to buy the drugs, worth almost €3,000 euro, “on tick”.

Carl Ryan, 43, with an address at 17 College Park, Letterkenny was charged with possessing cannabis and possessing cannabis for the purpose of sale or supply on July 6, 2011.

Garda Inspector Kevin Gately said gardai observed a car entering the car park of Letterkenny Shopping Centre, near the bus station, in a manner that drew their attention.

The driver picked up a passenger who had just arrived at the station and they intercepted the vehicle.

The passenger of the car, Ryan, became agitated when gardai asked to search his bag and eventually the located the drugs which he said were his and he intended to sell them.

He had 35 previous convictions.

Solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said his client was a “habitual drug user” who moved to Buncrana eight years ago with his cousin to flee his life of addiction in Dublin.

“If he would have stayed in Dublin he would be dead,” he told the court.

The solicitor said he had “done OK” while in Inishowen but moved to Letterkenny which he said has a ”thriving drug culture”.

He said he got “sucked in” by local people who encouraged him to travel to Dublin to get the drugs, which he got “on tick”.

Ryan had hoped to make €700 in profit from the sale of the cannabis and admitted the offence straight away. He was a full-time carer for his cousin and it was his “unfortunate move” toLetterkenny that got him involved in drug dealing but was now no longer involved.

He said he had a life of addition and sleeping rough and up to 13 of his friends had died in recent years and would consider Community service.

Judge Paul Kelly said: “This stuff has the country destroyed.”

He noted it was the defendants third conviction for drug dealing. He jailed him for three month for possession and four month for the sale and supply charge to run concurrently.