Market traders fined for selling prescription drugs from stall

Medication included pills for treating Alzheimer’s disease and for thinning blood

Two Dublin market traders have been fined for selling more than 100 different types of prescription drugs from their stall.

The medication packs, priced at "two for €5", included Alzheimer's disease and blood thinning medication, Dublin District Court was told.

Liam Pacelli (36) of Whitestown Crescent, in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, was spared a criminal record and was given the benefit of the Probation Act after donating €1,000 to charity.

Co-defendant Robert Burke (33) of Westway View, Corduff, Dublin 5 was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service work. Each man must pay €2,000 in legal costs.


Judge John O’Neill said the drugs could have caused someone’s death. He noted that positive probation reports were furnished to the court and both men had pleaded guilty.

Pacelli was spared a conviction because he had a clean record while Burke had prior convictions for minor motoring offences as well a public order offence. Burke had also been given the Probation Act a number of years ago for obstructing a garda.

Both men had apologised in court and said they did not know what they were selling or the possible serious consequences.

The offences can result in fines of up to €2,000 as well as one-year in prison.

They pleaded guilty in a prosecution which followed an investigation by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

They faced four charges for selling prescription only medicines: Warfarin anticoagulant tablets; Lyrica tablets which prevent seizures, Cymbalta medication which is used to treat anxiety and Donepezil Hydrochloride a drug used in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Their fifth charge was for unlawfully selling Paralink suppositories which contains Paracetamol.

Judge O’Neill heard that a garda seized the packets of medicine from their “bric-a-brac” stall at the Balbriggan Market, in Balbriggan in north Co. Dublin on May 4, 2014. They had various household goods on sale as well the medicinal products with a handwritten sign saying “two for €5”. They had sold about €200 worth before the garda spoke to them.

Gardaí seized 450 packets of medicinal products and contacted the HPRA, the court. There were more than 150 different types of medicine of which 108 required a doctor’s prescription.