Youth charged with possession of drug implicated in death

Teenager accused of possession of synthetic opioid U47700 for sale or supply

Michael Cornacchia

Michael Cornacchia


A youth has been remanded in custody charged with drug possession following a Garda investigation into the death of another teenager who had taken the substance.

The 17-year-old, who canot be named because he is a juvenile, was brought before Cork District Court following a Garda investigation into the death of Michael Cornacchia (16) at his home in Deerpark in Cork in January.

Mr Cornacchia died from ingesting a combination of ecstasy and the synthetic opioid U47700 in what is believed to the first known fatality involving the drug in the Republic of Ireland, an inquest into his death heard earlier this year.

Det Garda Darragh Murray told Cork District Court how he arrested the 17-year-old on the northside of Cork city and charged with him two drug-related offences. The accused made no reply to either charge, the court heard.

He is charged with possession of the psychoactive substance U47700 for sale or supply to another person on January 16th, 2017, knowing or being reckless to whether that substance was being acquired for human consumption contrary to Section 3 of the Criminal Justice Psychoactive Substances Act 2010.

The youth was also charged with possession of cocaine contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on the same day at an address on the northside of Cork city.

Insp Finbarr O’Sullivan said the DPP had directed the youth should be tried on indictment before a judge and jury at circuit court level and he indicated that gardai were objecting to bail and were seeking a remand in custody.

Det Garda Murray said gardaí they were basing their objection to bail on the seriousness of the charge and the fact that there was a maximum sentence of five years upon conviction and their belief that the youth would not turn up for his trial if granted bail.

The youth went into the box to give evidence in support of his bail application and he admitted that he had a cocaine addiction up until January but had since stopped taking the drug and was now back playing sports, including hurling for his local club. He promised to turn up if granted bail.

However, Judge Olann Kelleher said he was satisfied from the evidence before the court that it merited a remand in custody and he refused bail.

He remanded the teenager in detention at Oberstown to appear again at Cork District Court on September 8th for the DPP’s directions.