Former Irish underage boxer (27) sentenced to 30 months for drug dealing

Judge Brian O’Callaghan in Cork says Covid-19 restrictions could hinder drug dealers

Government restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 might bring a benefit in preventing drug dealers from moving and selling their product, said a judge as he sentenced a man to 30 months in jail for drug dealing.

Judge Brian O'Callaghan commented that many of those attending Cork Circuit Criminal Court were wearing masks to protect them against coronavirus but drug dealing was "a virus which had afflicted Irish society for many years".

He said: “The difficulties we are experiencing over coronavirus might highlight the unlawful drugs virus and leave these people with nowhere to go - if it does, it would be a small silver lining to this coronavirus shutdown”.

Judge O'Callaghan made his comments as he sentenced former Irish underage boxer, Roy Carroll to four years in jail with the last 18 months suspended after he was convicted by a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last February.


Carroll (27) from Farranferris Park, Farranree, Cork had denied a charge of possessing €8,700 worth of cocaine for sale or supply at the M8 Toll Plaza at Skanagh North, Watergrasshill on January 10th 2018.

But the jury found him guilty of the offence and Thursday, Det Garda Liam Finn of the Cork City Divisional Drugs Unit outlined the background to the case where Carroll was bringing the drugs from Dublin to Cork with another man.

The other man, who had organised the shipment, was driving and Carroll was a front seat passenger and when gardaí stopped them at the M8 Toll Plaza, Carroll was initially cooperative as gardaí began searching the car.

Carroll gave gardaí his name and address as he stood at the back of the car but when the driver told him to run, he raced up the embankment through briars, twice escaping from the clasp of gardaí before racing off across a field.

Gardaí saw him pull a package from the front of his pants and throw it away and when they retrieved it, they found it contained €8,000 worth of cocaine and while Carroll escaped on the night, he later gave himself up to gardaí.

Defence barrister, Paula McCarthy BL pleaded for leniency saying her client had boxed for Ireland at underage level but had been deeply affected by the death of his older brother in a car crash in 2014 and suffered depression as a result.

He had also become addicted to drink and drugs as a result of that tragedy but he had since overcome these addiction issues, said Ms McCarthy as she pointed out that he had no previous convictions for drug offences of any type.

Det Garda Finn agreed with Ms McCarthy that Carroll’s co-accused, who pleaded guilty to similar offences and was given a three-year term with 18 months suspended, was the target of the garda intelligence led operation.

Judge O’Callaghan said that Carroll had shown little remorse for his behaviour and his actions on the night when he fled and threw away the drugs was far from a panicked reaction but rather a deliberate attempt to avoid detection.

He noted that a probation report found that Carroll was at the lower end of a moderate risk of re-offending and he was also conscious that it was his first time coming before the courts on a drug offence which was a mitigating factor.

He sentenced Carroll to four years in jail but suspended the final 18 months on condition he would be of good behaviour and while acknowledging that Carroll was not the driver on the night, he disqualified him from driving for four years.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times