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GAA coach’s fingerprints found on bag of cannabis worth €5,000

A GAA coach from Dublin who was jailed for seven years for possessing cannabis was caught for a similar offence when his fingerprints were found during a Tipperary drugs bust, a court has heard.

David Gill (40), a father-of-three of The Pines, Leopardstown Road, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing the €5,000 of cannabis herb in the State on July 26, 2013.

Gill accepted his fingerprints were on a bag containing €5,000 of cannabis herb seized when gardaí raided properties in Tipperary, but said he had no link to the people involved.

Sergeant David Buckley confirmed that Gill had nothing to do with the targets of that Garda operation.

Sgt Buckley told Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting, that the package found in Tipperary would have passed through Gill’s hands while he was involved in transporting drugs in Dublin.

Gill has three previous convictions, including a seven-year sentence for possessing almost €600,000 of cannabis in August 2013.

Sgt Buckley agreed with Edel Gilligan BL, defending, that her client was co-operative and frank with gardaí when they interviewed him about the €5,000 of cannabis.

The sergeant accepted Gill had not owned the drugs he was transporting in Dublin in 2013. He further accepted that Gill told gardaí he had been paid €500 for delivering those drugs and that he was “under pressure”.

Ms Gilligan submitted to Judge Melanie Greally that her client had worked as a courier until he lost his job in 2010, leaving him and his unemployed wife with a €300,000 mortgage debt.

Counsel said Gill had been heavily involved in the GAA and had coached young children. She asked the judge not to extend Gill’s period of incarceration as he has been an “exemplary prisoner” and would not come before the courts in future.

Judge Greally acknowledged that Gill has been making efforts to improve himself while in prison through various education courses and charity work.

“I can’t think of a more positive response to the circumstances in which you find yourself,” she said.

She imposed a two-year sentence to run concurrently to the seven years he is serving.

Aoife Nic Ardghail

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