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29 Nov 2021

Judge heaps praise on Longford man for 'turning life around'

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes has heaped praise on a man for turning his life around

A Longford man who “turned his life around” by addressing his addiction to drugs has come in for wholesome praise by Judge Seamus Hughes.

Gavin Doyle (30) 8 Harbour Road, Tarmonbarry, was in attendance at a recent District Court sitting to learn his fate over a number of sale and supply, assault and theft charges dating back to 2016 and 2017 respectively.

They included a Section 2 assault at Harbour Point on April 1 2016.

On the same date, he was alleged to have stolen a Michael Kors purse valued at €150 along with €300 cash contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

The following year, on March 28 2017 at Garrycam, Ardagh, Longford Mr Doyle was charged with a string of other charges.

They included the possession of counterfeit money, the unlawful possession of cocaine and cannabis resin contrary to section 3 and 27 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

Two further charges relating to the possession of cannabis resin and diazepam for the purposes of sale and supply contrary to section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

In defence, solicitor Frank Gearty said compensation totalling €750 had already been handed in along with a probation report and “very positive” character references.

His mother was also in court to support, he added.

Mr Gearty also told of how Mr Doyle had not just address his previous predilection to drugs, but come out the other side a new man.

It was a statement which drew noteworthy adulation from Judge Hughes.

“This man has made very substantial progress and completed a year of drugs rehabilitation.

“He has turned his life around and has to be commended for that.”

Mr Gearty followed that up by saying Mr Doyle was very much intent on continuing down the same societal path he was now on.

In referencing how the charges were of “some vintage” Judge Hughes said he still had to deal with the offences as he saw them.

“These were very serious charges back in 2016 and the matter was adjourned because of the promises you made,” he told Mr Doyle directly.

“You stuck to those promises and made hard choices by going into rehab for a year and it has worked for you.”

Now back in gainful employment, Sgt Paddy McGirl said Mr Doyle had not come to garda attention since and agreed with earlier comments that the accused had “turned around his life”.

Judge Hughes drew a line under the case by applying section 1 (2) of the Probation Offenders Act in respect of all charges before the court.

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