Former Dublin minor hurler caught with €2.7m worth of drugs and sentenced to nine years in prison

A former Dublin minor caught in possession of €2.7million in cocaine and cannabis in 2014 has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Atrick Casey, 35, fled the country after he managed to dodge gardaí after a high-speed chase eight years ago, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

Cannabis and cocaine worth just over €700,000 were found in his car, while nearly €2million worth of the same drugs were seized when Gardaí searched his home in Raheny, Sergeant James Muldowney told John Moher BL, prosecution.

Casey, with an address at The Cornmill Apartments, Distillery Road, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at Marigold Ave, Darndale and Tonlegee Road, Raheny on 7 March 2014.

He has eight prior convictions, including a drug trafficking conviction for which he was jailed when he was 20 years old.

Dean Kelly SC, who is defending himself, told the court his client was an underage hurler and footballer and played for the Dublin underage hurling team as a teenager, but that drug addiction ended his sporting career.

After fleeing to the UK following this incident in 2014, Casey quit drugs and started a new life, working full-time and becoming a father to two children.

Mr Kelly said Casey was scared of a certain person who was murdered in 2020 and he felt safe then returning to Ireland. He was arrested in July 2021 and has been in custody ever since.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him today, saying it was clear Casey was involved in the transport and distribution of “a huge amount of drugs”. The judge found that Casey had already been convicted of drug trafficking.

He noted that although Casey had fled the courts, he was also in London rehabilitating and starting a new life. “He’s reformable and he’s got skills,” the judge said. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Sgt. Muldowney told the sentencing hearing that Gardaí were conducting a drug operation in the Coolock area in 2014 and Casey was being monitored. On the day in question, he was seen putting black bags in the trunk of his car and driving away.

As he was being pursued by Gardaí, Casey initially stopped but then accelerated away from the scene. The chase ended when he crashed into a wall. Casey then fled the scene and managed to dodge gardaí, and he left the country.

Mr Kelly told the court his client had a troubled childhood and an abusive father, but did well at school and sports until he started using drugs as a teenager.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison for a drug offense in 2007, which was later reduced to five years by the appeals court and the last two years suspended, the court heard.

The defense attorney said prison had a “devastating” effect on Casey and that he got out of prison with a drug addiction. After fleeing to London, he got off drugs and managed to turn his life around, the court heard.

He has been involved with his local GAA club since returning to Ireland in 2020, the court heard.

Mr Kelly submitted a number of testimonies to the court, including one from the club, which described him as a “dedicated and honest” member of the team Former Dublin minor hurler caught with €2.7m worth of drugs and sentenced to nine years in prison

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