*Prison sentence will be issued on Thursday. 

A JUDGE granted a request by a convicted cocaine delivery man and “decent family man” to defer his imprisonment to allow him attend his child’s First Holy Communion last Saturday.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Francis Comerford imposed a 16-month prison term on father of five Sean Fitzsimons (35) for the sale and supply of €28,000 worth of cocaine in Ennis in April 2021.

Mr Fitzsimons had pleaded guilty to the possession of the cocaine with intent to sell or supply at an address on Ennis’s Lahinch Rd on April 9th 2021 contrary to Section 15(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

In total, Judge Comerford imposed on Mr Fitzsimons of Derrymore, Tulla Rd, Ennis a 32 month prison and suspended the final 16 months for three years.

Counsel for Mr Fitzsimons, Michael Collins SC (instructed by solicitor, John Casey) requested that Mr Fitzsimons not be imprisoned until Thursday (tomorrow) to allow his client attend one of his children’s First Holy Communion on Saturday.

Mr Collins said Mr Fitzsimons’s family relationships will suffer with an immediate custodial sentence and an example is that “one of his children is due to make their First Holy Communion this Saturday and he has asked me to ask the court to postpone any immediate prison sentence by one week to allow him attend the communion”.

In response, Judge Comerford acceded to the request and ordered that Mr Fitzsimons present himself for prison sentence next Thursday.

Imposing sentence, Judge Comerford said that Mr Fitzsimons became involved in drug activities because he was a drug user.

Judge Comerford said, “He did provide a service of keeping cocaine for drug dealers and delivering cocaine and making arrangements for where it would be stored”.

Judge Comerford said that the accused did this to pay down a drug debt.

Judge Comerford said that the first time that anyone purchases cocaine enters the realm of callous and ruthless drug dealers who will subject them to duress and allow debts to build up.

He said, “I accept Garda evidence in this case that there was duress on Mr Fitzsimons”.

Mr Collins said that his client had stored and delivered the drug due to pressure from other sinister and maloevent people.

Mr Collins said, “All in all, it is a sad case where an otherwise hardworking man had found himself sitting in the dock awaiting sentence for a very serious offence”.

Mr Collins said that Mr Fitzsimons had composed a letter for court where he said, “I would like to apologise for my actions and to the people’s lives I have affected over my selfishness. I was in a bad place in my life struggling with addiction. I know that is not an excuse. I take full responsibility. I have lost almost everything due to my bad decisions. I have turned my life around. I will never make a stupid decision like that again. I have suffered with my mental health the last three years

He added, “I am very remorseful”.

He said that he is a father of five kids and has a massive amount of guilt over what he has done.

Mr Collins said that a Probation Report on Mr Fitzsimons shows that he “is obviously a decent family man”.

Mr Collins said that his client ended up in debt and way over his head due to drug abuse and was targeted, put under pressure and put in fear by people not to be trifled with.

Mr Collins said that his client has a good work history and recently got a new job.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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