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Clare man faces 10-year sentence for drugs offences

A CLARE man has pleaded guilty to a drugs offence that carries a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence.

Daniel O’Connell (32), with an address at Ballybrack, Clonlara, was arraigned before Ennis circuit court this week. 

He pleaded guilty to possession of drugs – ketamine, cannabis and MMDA – at a time when the value of the drugs amounted to €13,000 or more. 

The offence, which is contrary to section 15 (a) of the misuse of drugs act, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. 

A judge does have discretion not to apply the 10-year term if exceptional circumstances exist in the case. 

O’Connell also pleaded guilty to possession of the hallucinogenic drug, DMT, contrary to section 3 of the misuse of the drugs act. 

Both charges relate to a search carried out by gardaí in Ballybrack, Clonlara, on July 17, 2020. 

Counsel for the director of public prosecutions (DPP), Lorcan Connolly BL, told the court the plea was acceptable to the State on a full facts basis. 

The accused was represented by solicitor Daragh Hassett who instructed barrister Mark Nicholas SC. 

Mr Nicholas asked that the legal aid certificate be extended to allow for the preparation of a psychologist’s report. 

Judge Francis Comerford granted the application and remanded Daniel O’Connell on bail. 

The case was adjourned to call-over of cases on December 12.

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