Man jailed for six years over €40,000 worth of drugs in Cork

Accused says he agreed to courier drugs only because he lost cocaine belonging to dealers

Peter Hanley (33) pleaded guilty to possessing €42,000 worth of cannabis.

A man who claimed he resorted to couriering drugs only because he owed dealers after losing a stash of cocaine has been jailed for six years after being caught with more than €40,000 worth of drugs.

Peter Hanley (33) pleaded guilty to possessing the €42,000 worth of cannabis, cannabis resin and cocaine for sale or supply at Fitzgerald Place, Old Blackrock Road in Cork on December 11th, 2015.

Det Garda Paul Leahy told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that a garda stopped a car being driven by Hanley on Old Blackrock Road in October 2015 and recovered €400 worth of drugs.

They returned with Hanley to a house at Fitzgerald Place and found cannabis, cannabis resin and cocaine worth a total of €42,000.


Hanley was arrested and, on the third interview, he accepted responsibility for the drugs and said he was couriering them to pay off a drug debt as he had lost 4oz of cocaine belonging to a dealer.

Det Garda Leahy said Hanley had eight previous convictions for drug offences including one for cultivation of cannabis and one for possessing drugs for sale or supply dating back to 2006.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said a probation report on Hanley from Castlegreine Park, Boreenmanna Road in Cork was "a fairly sad epistle" and showed he had no insight into his problems.

Even at this late stage, Hanley was seeking to portray himself as a victim when he told the probation services that he felt he had no choice but to act as a courier because of the drugs debt he owed.

He accepted that Hanley was an addict but he noted that he had failed to complete rehabilitation courses at Tabor Lodge and had shown little commitment to date to rehabilitate himself.

Judge Ó Donnabháin sentenced Hanley to eight years in jail but he suspended the final two years on condition that he obeys all instructions from the probation service on his release from prison.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times