KINSALE COCAINE 7’S
Article by Eamonn Fleming, Solicitor, Bandon, May 2019.
For the last 3 years I have been defending people caught in possession of Class A drug Cocaine at Kinsale 7’s rugby May Bank holiday weekend. Prior to 2017 I defended nobody from Kinsale 7’s for possession of coke. Since then, I have defended on average six people per year for the last two years for possession of cocaine and already I have a number of people for possession of cocaine at the 7’s from this current May Bank Holiday weekend.
The profile of all is remarkably similar. All, without exception, are young men mostly with no previous convictions for drugs. Not necessarily people that play rugby, who have gone to the 7’s for the weekend experience and who are not from Kinsale. The locals are too smart to buy or consume drugs in Kinsale during the 7’s since it seems that most of the Garda Drugs Squad from the entire region are based there during that weekend and also because of the inflated price and the poor quality of the product.
All the young men buy the drugs there, while in a drunken state, when offered them, either in town itself or at the pitch/car park area. It is questionable in most cases whether what they buy as a white powder in a plastic bag is in fact cocaine at all, because the level cocaine is so minute and anecdotally they pay probably twice or three times the street value for it. The dealers therefore and Gardaí together make a killing. A Garda drug squad member recently mentioned to me, that catching people taking or in possession of coke at the Kinsale 7’s is like “shooting fish in a barrel”.
This year it seemed to me that so many people were caught by the Gardaí in possession of cocaine that they were not arrested on the spot, but simply details taken with summonses to follow. Most people are cooperative because they are so frightened and sign the Garda notebook making immediate admissions to all aspects of the matter which makes it very difficult criminal case to defend successfully. These cases however can be defended. The consequences of a conviction of possession of a Class A drug for most of these accused is life altering. The cases appear before Bandon District Court therefore on a regular basis and I and other local solicitors are left trying to help the accused avoid such a conviction.
There are a number of steps that can be taken if you are caught in possession of any drug, some of which are appreciated by the Court and can lead to a best possible result, but our local Judge is not an easy Judge to persuade to let somebody “ off” blemish free on a possession of cocaine charges. On conviction of possession of cocaine in the District Court a convicted person can be fined up to €2,500.00 and or given a prison sentence of up to a maximum of 12 months. It has become the drug of choice for the Kinsale 7’s and hence my slip of the tongue in recently referring to the event as the Cocaine 7’s rather than Kinsale 7’s, in my description of the weekend.
Contact me if I can be of assistance to anybody.