Xmas Shopping, in Limerick, Beans Half Price, Fresh Sausages, and Great Coke, Cash Only?

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Limerick shopkeeper was mixing cocaine in kitchen when gardaí raided and found €200,000 of drug, special court sitting told

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A court has heard that a Limerick shopkeeper allegedly caught with more than €200,000 worth of cocaine and a large amount of cash, told the garda who arrested him: “I’m f***ed now.”

Gardaí charged Declan Sheehy (56) of Janemount Park, Corbally, with possession of cocaine for sale or supply at a special sitting of Limerick District Court on Tuesday night.

Detective Garda Sean Twomey of Limerick Garda Divisional Drugs Unit alleged that Mr Sheehy, who it was heard owns and operates a corner shop in St Mary’s Park, was “heavily involved in the sale and supply of drugs in the Limerick region”.

Mr Sheehy was also charged with having over €50,000 cash which gardaí suspect to be the proceeds of crime, contrary to Section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.

He was also charged with possession of cocaine for his own use. Det Garda Twomey indicated that “further and more serous charges” arising out of the drug seizure were likely to be brought against the accused.

Det Garda Twomey told the court gardaí believed Mr Sheehy was in the process of “mixing” cocaine in the kitchen of his shop when officers raided the property on Monday.

He further claimed gardaí discovered an estimated €217,000 worth of suspected cocaine in the kitchen of the shop, as well as more than €50,000 in cash in an adjoining room and over €1,000 cash on Mr Sheehy’s person.

Det Garda Twomey claimed gardaí found a “large range of drug paraphernalia, drug mixing agents, weighing scales, an electric blender, a hammer and a large kitchen knife” in the kitchen of the shop.

He said an estimated €130,000 worth of suspected cocaine was found in a large mixing bowl in the kitchen.

“Gardaí suspect Declan Sheehy was mixing cocaine at the time,” Det Garda Twomey told the court.

Objecting to bail under Section 2 of the Bail Act 1997, citing the “seriousness” of the charges and the “strength and nature” of the evidence, Det Garda Twomey added: “My belief is that Declan Sheehy is heavily involved in the sale and supply of drugs in Limerick, and if granted bail he will engage in the continued sale and supply of drugs, and he will not abide by any bail conditions”.

Mr Sheehy’s solicitor, John Herbert, said his client was married with four daughters and that he had been reared as a child in the shop premises.

Mr Herbert said Mr Sheehy instructed him to tell the court that £2,280 in English sterling notes which gardai recovered at Mr Sheehy’s house in Corbally, was part of “winnings” he claimed he obtained from bets he made on horses on a trip to Wales.

Judge Alec Gabbett said he had “listened carefully” to all of the evidence and was “satisfied I must refuse bail to prevent the commission of further alleged serious offences”.

The judge remanded Mr Sheehy in custody to Limerick Prison, to appear before Limerick District Court via video-link “for DPP directions and possible further charges” on November 29.

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