Woman who was caught with heroin for sale or supply is to be sentenced in July

Gary Ibbotson 03 May 2022

By Peter Murtagh

A recovering drug addict who became involved in moving heroin from storage at one Dublin address to another for sale and distribution is to be sentenced in July.

Suzanne Shannon (37) pleaded guilty to one count of being in possession of heroin, to the value of €69,608, at her home in Avondale House on North Cumberland Street, Dublin 1, on June 23, 2017.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today that Shannon was warehousing the drug for Darren Nolan (50) of Lower Oriel Street, where she brought it for him to sell.

Nolan pleaded guilty to possession of heroin for sale or supply at his address on June 23, 2017.

He has previous convictions for theft and was previously sentenced to three years imprisonment.

At a sentence hearing today, Detective Sergeant Des Breathnach described how gardai had the Oriel Street property under surveillance and believed drug dealing was taking place there.

With the help of the Garda Armed Support Unit (ASU), they raided the property at 7am on the morning in question and found Nolan and Shannon there, among others.

They found cash – €505 in an envelope with “car money” written on it, €505 in a wallet and €475 in lose cash.

Also found, wrapped in socks inside a wheelie bin, was a quantity of brown powder which the court heard was heroin.

As a result of this search, gardai, again supported by the ASU, went to Shannon’s address where Sergeant Breathnach said they found “two large plastic bags with diamorphine”, social welfare receipts and bills.

The value of the heroin was €69,608, he told Judge Orla Crowe.

When gardai arrested Shannon, she told gardaí, “I knew you’d be back for me,” Sgt Breathnach told prosecuting counsel, Rónán Prendergast BL.

He said that Shannon made a full admission and said that her involvement had been at the behest of Nolan.

She said she had agreed to transport the drugs from her home to Oriel Street in return for being given small amounts of heroin for her own use.

The court heard that Shannon has 46 previous convictions, mostly for theft offences and no drugs offences.

Sgt Breathnach agreed with defence counsel, Michael O’Higgins SC, that Shannon had a history of drug abuse, had been living in what was in effect sheltered accommodation and was “doing well” until Mr Nolan came into her life when “she appears to have come under his influence”.

She has a daughter and two sons, one of whom was very close to her and had written an “extremely articulate” letter to the court on behalf of his mother.

Other letters, from medical and social sources, including Father Peter McVerry, said Ms Shannon had attended detoxification programmes, was in counselling and had engaged in all aspects of her treatment.

Mr O’Higgins asked that she be remanded in custody for tests to indicate she was no longer using, and for a further probation report. He queried the benefits of a custodial sentence.

Judge Crowe adjourned sentence to July 25.

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