20 Jan 2022

Offaly drug prosecutions delayed by backlog at State laboratory

Offaly drug prosecutions delayed by backlog at State laboratory

Six-month delay in progressing drugs prosecutions at Tullamore District Court

GARDAI prosecuting people for alleged drugs possession now face a six-month wait because of a backlog of samples at a State laboratory.

Garda Tommy Mannion told Tullamore District Court he was awaiting a certificate of analysis from Forensic Science Ireland when he sought a six-month adjournment of the case against Gary Hyland, aged 19 and with an address at Church View, Tullamore.

Judge Colm Roberts granted an adjournment to June 1 next but said that other statements should be ready within four weeks for disclosure to the defence.

In another drugs prosecution which came before him, the judge said he understood the backlog at the laboratory had occurred in part because some staff had been transferred elsewhere “to deal with Covid”.

Mr Hyland is alleged to have possessed cannabis on January 3 at Tullamore Garda Station and on the same date, he is accused of obstructing a garda during a drugs search at Church View.

He is also accused of having cannabis at Church View on January 4 and of having cocaine at the same location on December 1, 2021 for sale or supply to others.

The accused, a young unemployed man who was granted legal aid and was represented in court by solicitor Donal Farrelly, is on bail but one condition of the bail is that he observe a curfew between 8pm and 8am.

Mr Hyland must also sign on daily at Tullamore Garda Station and abstain from alcohol and drugs, unless prescribed by a doctor.

Judge Roberts warned the accused that he could be remanded in custody if he breaches the bail conditions.

Other charges which were previously brought against Mr Hyland were adjourned to February 2 next.

He has been accused of criminal damage at Church View on October 13 last year and having cannabis for sale or supply at St Kyran Street, Tullamore on October 21.

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