Edgeworthstown woman on social welfare splashed out €1k on fireworks to make money for Christmas, court hears

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford Courthouse.

A woman found in the possession of over €1000 worth of fireworks has been handed down a four month suspended prison sentence

A woman found in the possession of over €1000 worth of fireworks has been handed down a four month suspended prison sentence.

Katie Coid, Lacken, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford pleaded guilty at a recent sitting of Longford District Court.

The case arose, the court was told, from an incident at the defendant's home address at Lacken, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford on October 10 2019.

Sergeant Paddy McGirl, for the state, said gardaí had called to the property and came across a bag of fireworks.
He said a subsequent search of a garage at the residence culminated in the discovery of a suitcase which contained a black bag together with a plastic bag.

He said gardaí had been told the defendant had paid €1,000 for the fireworks even though the Gardaí's estimation of the entire haul had been calculated at €1,700.

The court was told the case had been approved for summary disposal by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), meaning the matter could be tried at District Court level.

Judge Seamus Hughes said he was keen to know how Ms Coid was in such a healthy financial position to purchase the fireworks given that she was on social welfare and applying for free legal aid.

“You had better explain because I take the possession of fireworks for the purpose of reselling as a serious matter,” he said.
When efforts to procure credible response from Ms Coid ended in failure, Judge Hughes said he wanted answers.

“If you can afford fireworks, why don't you pay Ms Mimnagh?” Judge Hughes asked, referring to Ms Coid's solicitor.

Ms Mimnagh admitted her client was going to sell the fireworks on to try and make some money but was not intent on allowing younger members of her family to use them.

“She was going to sell them on and she has children and grandchildren but they weren't going to use them and was trying to make money for Christmas,” she said.

Ms Mimnagh also revealed Ms Coid had bought the fireworks at Clogher Market, just across the border and close to Clones in Co Monaghan.

Judge Hughes consequently sentenced Ms Coid to four months in prison, suspending the term for a period of three years.