*The first time offender was before Killaloe District Court.
A 24 year old silage contractor told Gardaí that the €2,480 in cash, which was the proceeds of criminal conduct found in his car, was won on a horse.
At Killaloe District Court sitting in Ennis, solicitor for Darragh Fogarty, Daragh Hassett said that the ‘won on a horse’ explanation put forward by his client was “absolute nonsense”.
Gardaí stopped Mr Fogarty’s car at Newtown, Killaloe in east Clare on December 21st 2021 when they came across the €2,480 in the car found in €50, €20, €10 and €5 notes.
Mr Hassett said, “Gardai stopped him and Mr Fogarty gave a stock answer of ‘I won it on a horse, which is a euphemism for saying ‘I can’t say where the money came from’ and is a first cousin of ‘it is resting in my account’”.
He said, “It is absolute nonsense what he told the Gardai and they saw it for what it was.”
In the case, Mr Fogarty of Cappakilleen, Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary pleaded guilty to engaging in concealing the true nature of €2,480 cash which he knew was the proceeds of criminal conduct at Newtown, Killaloe on December 21st 2021 contrary to Section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.
Sgt Louis Moloney said that Mr Fogarty’s phone was also seized and a Garda examination indicated a lot of activity and the sale of drugs.
Mr Hassett said that Mr Fogarty was unemployed at the time and was financially bereft.
He said that people in the drugs trade saw he had time on his hands and asked him if he would get involved as part of their network.
Mr Hassett said that his client got involved in the network for a very short period “and the Gardai simply came upon him by accident and he will say that it was the best thing that ever happened to him”.
Mr Hassett said that Mr Fogarty has never taken drugs in his life “which you might see as an aggravating factor or an ameliorating factor”.
Mr Hassett said that Mr Fogarty was in a situation where he had no control and where people had control over him “and very quickly, he was told what to do and how to do it”.
Mr Hassett said that “the head honchos” are nowhere to be seen and their paw prints are not seen on any of the texts examined by Gardaí.
Judge Mary Larkin indicated that she would not convict Mr Fogarty after Mr Hassett offered €1,000 on behalf of his client to the Court Discretionary Fund (CDF) and made a plea for no conviction on Mr Fogarty’s behalf.
Mr Hassett said that Mr Fogarty was a first time offender “and a conviction would be a millstone around his young neck for the rest of his life”.
He said, “Gardai have no adverse commentary on this young man”.
Mr Hassett said that Mr Fogarty won’t repeat his behaviour and his client just wants the quiet life with his partner and their young son.
Mr Hassett said that it is silage season now and Mr Fogarty “will be working night and day until the end of September”.
Judge Larkin asked that the €1,000 be donated to the Bushy Park centre which treats addicts. Judge Larkin adjourned the case to June for receipt of the donation.