A silage contractor from Co. Tipperary, Darragh Fogarty, appeared in court after being found in possession of €2,480 in cash, suspected to be the proceeds of criminal activity. When stopped by Gardaí in Killaloe District Court, Fogarty initially claimed the money was won on a horse, a euphemism for refusing to disclose the source of the funds. His solicitor, Daragh Hassett, dismissed this explanation as “absolute nonsense”.
Fogarty pleaded guilty to charges of concealing the true nature of the cash, which he knew was obtained illegally. The court heard that his phone was also seized and showed evidence of drug-related activity. Hassett argued that Fogarty was unemployed and financially struggling at the time, and had been approached by people in the drugs trade who saw him as an opportunity to expand their network. He claimed that Fogarty’s involvement was short-lived, and that he had been caught by Gardaí by accident. The solicitor stated that his client had never taken drugs, and had been coerced into the situation, with others telling him what to do and how to do it.
Judge Mary Larkin indicated that she would not convict Fogarty after his solicitor offered a donation of €1,000 to the Court Discretionary Fund (CDF) and made a plea for no conviction. Hassett argued that a conviction would be a “millstone around his young neck for the rest of his life”, and that Fogarty was a first-time offender. The solicitor assured the court that Gardaí had no adverse commentary on his client, and that he had no intention of repeating his behaviour. Fogarty expressed his desire to return to a quiet life with his partner and young son, and would be working long hours during silage season.
Judge Larkin requested that the €1,000 donation be made to the Bushy Park centre, which treats addicts. She adjourned the case until June for receipt of the donation.