Council worker to be sentenced for transporting cash to repay drug debt

The court heard Thomas Kelly's drug and gambling debt stood at €4,500 at one point
Council worker to be sentenced for transporting cash to repay drug debt

Eimear Dodd

A Dublin City Council worker has pleaded guilty to transporting €10,000 to repay a drug debt.

Thomas Kelly (35), with an address at Lower Casement Road, Finglas West, Dublin 9, pleaded guilty in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of money laundering at Casement Grove, Finglas on October 19th, 2019.

Garda Sean Kelly told Kelly's sentence hearing on Friday that on the day in question, a garda patrol spotted a silver car being driven in a suspicious manner.

They pulled the car over and spoke with the driver, identified as Kelly, who appeared nervous.

Gardaí searched the vehicle and found €250 in a white envelope and a package marked with 'H2O' in a compartment under the driver's seat. This package was found to contain €10,000 in cash.

Kelly was arrested and told gardaí during interview that he agreed to take the package to Liffey Valley to reduce a drug debt of €700. He also said he had a gambling debt.

Kelly has 14 previous convictions comprised of mainly District Court offences.

No one has come forward to claim the money, which gardaí believe to be the proceeds of crime.

Plausible explanation

Garda Kelly agreed with Luigi Rea, BL defending, that gardaí found the defendant's explanation to be plausible.

Kelly's debts due to drugs and gambling stood at €4,500 at one stage, the court heard. However, he had made repayments from his wages, reducing it to €700, which was the final amount owed.

The defendant has not come to garda attention since this incident, the court was told.

Three letters were handed into the court, including one from his supervisor at the council and another from his doctor.

Kelly is a father of four and worked in a variety of roles before starting with the council in 2008.

Mr Rea said Kelly had decided to draw a line under his issues with gambling and drugs since this incident.

Judge Orla Crowe said she required more information about Kelly's current status in relation to his addiction before sentencing.

She adjourned the case to November 17th and ordered a probation report and urine analysis.

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