Former Cork City footballer jailed for cocaine dealing

The 19-year-old admitted having cocaine for sale or supply in Kinsale last year.
Former Cork City footballer jailed for cocaine dealing

19-year-old Elyjas Eshaji of Jamesfort Ave, Kinsale Manor, appeared by video link from prison to Cork Circuit Criminal Court where Judge Sarah Berkeley imposed a sentence of three years with the last six months suspended.

A former player for Cork City Football Club was jailed for two and a half years for cocaine dealing in Kinsale.

19-year-old Elyjas Eshaji of Jamesfort Ave, Kinsale Manor, appeared by video link from prison to Cork Circuit Criminal Court where Judge Sarah Berkeley imposed a sentence of three years with the last six months suspended.

Defence senior counsel Ray Boland said that on remand in prison for the past week he got a taste of it and did not want to stay in custody. He asked for sentencing to be adjourned until October to see if he would mature and turn his life around by then.

Judge Berkeley refused this application and proceeded to sentence, noting that gardaí described the young man as a cocaine dealer at the time that he was caught with the drugs and that he was not simply storing them for someone else.

During the course of the sentencing hearing, Ray Boland defence senior counsel said, “He has represented Cork City FC. He is no longer playing for them.” 

Mr Boland SC said the teenager’s drug use affected his sporting career.

“He has a girlfriend with whom he is expecting a child. He is not working at present. He trained and worked as a barber,” Mr Boland said.

Judge Berkeley said if the young man was fit and able to work as a barber why was he not working in this area where employment is available. “He has not got a job and he is expecting a child,” the judge said.

Mr Boland SC said that there needed to be a maturing by the accused young man.

Judge Berkeley agreed and said, “He seems to me to have approached his case in a very immature way. He has a lot more to do.” 

One of the difficulties for the defendant was that he had come to notice of gardaí while this case was pending.

The 19-year-old admitted having cocaine for sale or supply in Kinsale last year.

He pleaded guilty to having cocaine for sale or supply on June 16 2021 at New Road, Kinsale, County Cork, at a time when its street value exceeded €13,000 – the threshold figure for a mandatory jail term of ten years unless the judge finds there are exceptional circumstances.

Earlier this year, Mr Boland said, “He had a difficulty with substance abuse and he is going to Coolmine once a week for counselling.”

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