‘Say sorry to my ma’ – Teen’s response to gardaí when caught with over €48k of cannabis in his bedroom, court told
A 17-year-old teenager who was caught with more than €48,000 worth of cannabis in his bedroom asked gardaí to say, “sorry to my ma”, a Dublin court has heard.
Darragh Corbally, now aged 19, was asleep in his bedroom when gardaí raided his home searching for drugs. The then fifth-year student had run up a drug debt and been excluded from school, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.
Corbally, with an address in Sperrin Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cannabis for sale or supply at the same address on December 22, 2017. The charge carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 years. He will be sentenced on December 18.
Garda Damien Quirke told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that Corbally’s house was placed under surveillance before a decision was made to execute a bench warrant. When they called to the house, they were told two children were asleep in the home. One of the children was Corbally.
When woken by gardaí, he immediately admitted to possessing the cannabis, which was found at the end of his bed. A total of 2,411g of cannabis with a street value of €48,236 was seized.
Corbally told gardaí he had started using cannabis the previous summer and had run up a debt. He said he was ordered to hold the drugs as a result. When asked by gardaí how much he thought it was worth, he replied “a big bit”.
When asked what the drug dealers would do now the drugs had been seized, Corbally started to cry, the court heard. When asked if he wanted to say anything else, he replied: “Sorry to my ma.”
Ronan Kennedy SC, defending, submitted his client’s responses to gardaí were somewhat “childish”, which he said reflected his youth and immaturity.
The court heard Corbally was living with his mother and younger sister at the time of the offence and his mother was experiencing some difficulties. He was supported in court today by his grandmother.
Two weeks prior to the offence, Corbally was excluded from school, the court heard. He didn’t have many friends and didn’t take part in any activities. “He was a young man who had lost direction,” Mr Kennedy said.
In the last two years, Corbally has got a part-time job in a pub and returned to education. He hopes to sit his Leaving Cert.
“He got a dog for his 18th birthday and that has given him another outlet,” Mr Kennedy said.
He urged Judge Karen O’Connor to take Corbally’s youth and immaturity into consideration, as well as his early guilty plea and co-operation with gardai. A period of detention could have “detrimental effects” and be counter-productive to his progress, the court heard.
Corbally has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since. He is no longer using drugs.
Adjourning the sentence to next month, Judge O’Connor urged Corbally to continue doing well. “You are working, you are doing a course, no doubt you are looking after your puppy,” she said. “Stay on the path you’re on.”