Very Strange to give up a Citizen, for a Drink Driving Conviction; Collopy could Serve the 18 months here?

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Limerick drug offender to be extradited to Bulgaria to serve 18-month sentence

24th June 2021


a man wearing a striped shirt in front of a curtain© Provided by Extra.ie

Jonathan Collopy, who has a conviction for serious drugs offences from the early 2000s, is to be extradited to Bulgaria to serve a drink-driving sentence.

The Limerick father of six had contested his surrender at the High Court, with his lawyers submitting there was ‘a real risk’ he would receive inadequate medical care for his ‘severe back pain’ due to ‘substandard facilities’ if he was extradited to Sofia Prison in Bulgaria.

Delivering his judgment on Tuesday at the High Court, Mr Justice Paul Burns said he was satisfied that ‘adequate provision’ would be made for the respondent’s medical needs while in detention and he was not satisfied that there were substantial grounds for believing that the respondent was at ‘a real risk’ of being subjected to ‘inhuman or degrading treatment’ by virtue of the likely conditions of his detention in Sofia Prison.a man smiling for the camera: Jonathan Collopy, who has a conviction for serious drugs offences from the early 2000s, is to be extradited to Bulgaria to serve a drink-driving sentence. Pic: Collins Courts© Provided by Extra.ie Jonathan Collopy, who has a conviction for serious drugs offences from the early 2000s, is to be extradited to Bulgaria to serve a drink-driving sentence. Pic: Collins Courts

Collopy, 34, of St Mary’s Park, Limerick City, is wanted in Bulgaria to serve an 18-month sentence having been convicted of drink driving in his absence in May 2016. He was arrested on November 5 last year on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Bulgarian authorities. While noting that the respondent had a back condition, Gráinne Mullan BL for the Minister for Justice, said that there was ‘active treatment’ for prisoners in a specialised hospital in Sofia.

Mr Justice Burns said on Tuesday that prisoners have the right to state-funded health insurance and, as such, are entitled to receive medical care within the scope of the package of health activities guaranteed by the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund. He said that specific and clear assurance had been given by the issuing state that this particular respondent would be covered under the National Health Insurance Fund and that his nationality would not be a barrier to such cover.

Sgt Jim Kirwan, who objected to bail at the initial extradition hearing, said Collopy has 17 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters in recent years but, he added, in 2004 he was jailed for serious drugs offences.

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