DPP v Keogh & O'Leary


[2014] IECA 31


Ryan P.

Birmingham J.

Sheehan J.

DPP v Keogh & O'Leary
The People at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Jason Keogh and Niall O'Leary

198/2012 & 319/2012 - Ryan Birmingham Sheehan - Court of Appeal - 26/11/2014 - 2014 16 4400 2014 IECA 31

DPP v LERNIHAN UNREP CCA 18.4.2007 2007/19/3889 2007 IECCA 21

Criminal law - Appeal against severity of sentence - Imprisonment - Thirteen years with three years suspended - Drugs offences - Surveillance operation-100 kilos Cannabis vacuum packed - Value of €1.2m - Admissions in course of detention - Early plea - Whether error of principle


1. In this case the appellants appeal to this Court against the severity of a sentence imposed upon them. In each case the sentence appealed is one of thirteen years imprisonment with the final three years suspended. The sentence under appeal was imposed on Mr. Jason Keogh on the 23 rd May, 2012, and on Mr. Niall O'Leary in November 2012.


2. The background facts are that on the 20 th July, 2011, the Garda National Drugs Unit mounted a surveillance operation at a warehouse unit in Swords Business Park. There, Jason Keogh was seen to collect seven blue barrels and place them in a vehicle (a van) that he was driving. Thereafter he was joined in travelling in convoy towards Woodview Cottages in Bettystown by his co-appellant Niall O'Leary with them stopping on the way at a B & Q in order to purchase an electric saw. Soon after the arrival of the two men in Bettystown, the sound of an electric saw in operation was audible. In those circumstances, the gardaí sought and obtained a warrant and entered the premises. There the gardaí (National Drugs Unit) found approximately 100 kilos of cannabis vacuum packed, which by that stage had been removed from the blue barrels and there was also one unopened blue barrel still in the vehicle.


3. Both appellants were arrested and in the course of his detention Jason Keogh admitted that he had driven the van to Swords to collect the cannabis, that he had rented the van in advance, that he was aware of the likely street value of the drugs, the estimated value of the drugs seized, it should be said was €1.2 million and he said that he was being paid €5,000 in respect of his work. He said that he had become involved through...

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