A judge today imposed a 14-year prison term on a cocaine dealer who was caught mixing cocaine during a late night Garda raid on a ‘cocaine factory’ outside Ennis last year.
At Ennis Circuit Court on Wednesday, Judge Brian O’Callaghan imposed the prison term, suspending the final two years, on father of two, Tony McInerney (25).
Imposing sentence, Judge O’Callaghan stated that he is in no doubt that Mr McInerney “has inflicted untold harm, destruction, pain and suffering on not just the people of Clare but people in this society in general through his criminal dirty drug dealing activities”.
Mr McInerney of Glenina, Gort Rd, Ennis - who has not served time in prison for any other offence - wrote a letter to Judge O’Callaghan pleading with the judge to let him home from prison where he has been on remand to see his family as soon as possible.
However, in sentencing, Judge O’Callaghan stated that there was not one word in Mr McInerney’s letter “about the hundreds of people whose lives he has destroyed throughout his criminal activity”.
'Drug thieves and criminals'
Judge O’Callaghan stated that there are “people in hospital and in the graveyards of this country because of his actions and of his colleagues - his buddies - so called ‘drug lords’. The use of the word ‘lord’ is an insult. They are drug thieves and criminals”.
He described Mr McInerney as “a major player” in the “dirty drugs business in Clare” stating that he got involved in drug dealing for “greed and for profit”.
In evidence, Det Garda Paul Heaslip said that during a Garda raid, supported by the Armed Response Unit, on a property at Spancilhill outside Ennis at 11.30pm on September 23rd last, Mr McInerney was found in the garage surrounded by drug paraphernalia including a cocaine press, weighing scales, a blender and a mixing agent.
Det Garda Heaslip stated that Mr McInerney was wearing orange latex gloves and raised his two hands up in the air holding a bag of cocaine in one hand when gardaí entered. Det Garda Heaslip stated that €50,800 of cocaine was recovered from the scene.
The detective said that Mr McInerney is “at the top of the pyramid” in the illicit drugs scene in Clare and had been a target of the divisional drugs unit.
The detective said that Mr McInerney had paid the occupier of the home €2,500 ‘rent’ for the use of the garage while he mixed the cocaine. Det Garda Heaslip stated that Mr McInerney doesn’t work and is not in receipt of social welfare but owns Mercedes and Audi cars.
Mr McInerney had one previous conviction for drugs concerning €1,700 worth of cannabis in 2013.
In a letter to the judge, Mr McInerney said: “I am not a bad person but I have made some bad decisions in my life.”
He stated: “My partner is lost without me at home along with my Mam and Dad. My mother had a hip replacement and spinal surgery. She is 61 and I always cared for her. My Dad is 71 and I always cared for him too."