90 per cent of people attending Donegal music event 'were probably taking drugs' - claim

Defence solicitor Gerry McGovern made the claim in Ballyshannon District Court

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90 per cent of people attending Donegal were probably taking drugs - claim

Judge Kevin Kilrane

A Sligo-based solicitor has told a Donegal district court that about “90 per cent” of people attending the Sea Sessions Festival in Bundoran were probably taking drugs.

Defence solicitor Gerry McGovern made the claim in Ballyshannon District Court, in a case where defendant Jonathan O’Neill, Kilclare Drive, Tallaght, Dubllin admitted possession of 24 ecstasy tablets at Drumacrinm Bundoran during the Festival on June 26 last year.

A similar charge relating to an alleged offence at Ballyshannon Garda Station was struck out. Judge Kevin Kilrane noted that the defendant was charged with possession as opposed to intent to supply, the solicitor said;

“Some people take seven or eight tablets in a session.

“The first time it came to my notice I was shocked. And they still live”? asked the judge.

The court heard the drugs could be bought for four euro each.

Mr McGovern said the drugs were for his client’s personal use. His client had done a very foolish thing, was a father-of-three and had co-operated with the gardai.

He had been at the Sea Sessions with his young family.

It was “stupid and foolish to go down that road”. And he was along with others. Mr McGovern said that 90 per cent of those at the Sessions were probably taking drugs. He added that two years ago the court was told about cannabis inside a chocolate cake at the festival.

The court was told earlier that the defendant was caught with plastic bags with tablets inside. He admitted having the drugs but told gardai they were for his personal use.

The defendant had previous convictions but none were for drugs offences.

Judge Kevin Kilrane adjourned the case until December 1 and if the defendant stayed out of trouble, the Probation Act would be applied.

After the case was over Daniel Browne of Sea Sessions, declined to comment on the solicitor’s specific quote in court. Mr Browne said his organization had an extremely strong relationship with the gardai locally throughout the festival to ensure that any illegal behaviour is dealt with positively in accordance with the law.