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Jail sentence for ‘serious heroin addict’

A KILRUSH mother-of-two, a “serious heroin addict”, was sentenced to three months in prison after she pleaded to a number of crimes described by her solicitor as “petty thefts”.

The sentence was imposed on Sharna Dullaghan, of 13A Willow Green, Kilrush, when she appeared before Judge Gráinne O’Neill at this week’s sitting of Ennis District Court.
Ms Dullaghan, who turns 28 on Saturday, has two children, both of whom live with her mother.

She acknowledged that on August 22 last, she took €38 from a house at Clonroad Beg in Ennis and cash and cigarettes from a building at Crawford Street in Kilrush on September 4.

She also admitted that on November 5 she took DVDs valued at €16 from Queally’s SuperValu in Kilrush, while on February 18 last she took an electric blanket from Dunnes Stores in Ennis, valued at €29.99.

On March 25 she admitted stealing a wallet from a car at Frances Street, Kilrush, which contained €30 in cash, and that she took Newbridge Cutlery and a cigarette lighter from Brew’s in Kilrush on March 30 last.

The court heard that she had 23 previous convictions.

Her solicitor, Gearóid Williams, said his client is “a serious heroin addict”. He claimed that the offences before the court were what he called “essentially petty theft”.

“They are a nuisance to society but they are all of a very low nature,” he added.
Mr Williams said the defendant regretted her actions and that she had committed offences while under the influence of substances.

He claimed that she had taken the electric blanket at a time when she was staying in a place where she had no heat, while he said some of the other offences were to provide birthday presents for children and some were opportunistic.

Judge O’Neill said the defendant’s actions were “a menace to local business owners at a time when it is extremely difficult to make a living”.

Ms Dullaghan was given three-month concurrent sentences for the offences on October 8 of last year and March 30 of this year. All of the other offences were taken into account.

Mr Williams asked that she be given compassionate leave to attend the First Holy Communion of one of her children on May 3.

Judge O’Neill said that she could not guarantee it. “I’d be surprised if it is not facilitated but it’s not in my hands,” she commented.

Judge O’Neill said that the defendant is not a candidate for community service but fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal.

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