A man was successful at Naas District Court in having his bail discharged so that he can begin serving prison time while he awaits his case to come to court.
Darragh Quinn, 29, whose address was given as 106 River Village, Tuam Road, Athlone, is being prosecuted for allegedly having drugs for sale or supply at Kilberry, Athy, on September 3, 2020.
The court heard that a certificate of analysis of the seized alleged drugs is still being awaited from Forensic Science Ireland which is experiencing delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Criticising the 12 month backlog in this case, Judge Desmond Zaidan said he understood that larger seizures of suspected drugs were being prioritised over smaller amounts.
He also said that cases where defendants are in custody should receive priority over other cases.
Judge Zaidan commented: “One year on and no analysis received...”
Prosecuting garda, Sgt Brian Jacob, agreed that there were difficulties in prosecuting cases by gardaí due to the delays.
The judge added: “We have to speed up Certificates of Analysis.”
Defence solicitor David Powderly said the application to change bail conditions before the court was an unusual one — but he added that the defendant had received comprehensive legal advice on the matter.
He added: “My client has been fully advised around this.”
Mr Quinn told the court: “I’m out of work.
“Why waste time now when I can be using up the time in prison?”
Judge Desmond Zaidan was told that Mr Quinn had been on methadone and had completed a detox programme.
The judge said to Mr Quinn: “I want to know that you fully understand what you are asking me to do.”
Granting the order, the judge added: “If you go into prison and you change your mind and want bail, I’ll give it to you.”
Last year Mr Quinn had requested to be moved from a Dublin prison to the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise so that his son, who has autism, could visit him under less strict conditions.
The defendant said his child is non-verbal and gets stressed with prison screens which are not a feature of the Midlands Prison.
Speaking on that occasion, Judge Zaidan said that because the defendant is remanded, he was sent to Cloverhill Prison in Dublin.
The judge said he would not oppose this but added the prison authorities have discretion in the matter.
Judge Zaidan also said both prison governors should be written to make them aware of the request and he noted the defendant had completed the detox programme. He added that he would have no difficulty with a transfer.
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