hen gardaí were called to the home of Darren Nolan (28), he told them he had been shot by three young men wearing balaclavas. His mother, however told gardaí she believed he had shot himself.
Gardaí searched his room and discovered a handgun he had purchased online as well as over €16,000 of illegal drugs.
Nolan of Shangan Green, Ballymun, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to recklessly discharging a firearm and to possession of heroin and cocaine for sale or supply at his home on May 8, 2018.
He also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to gardaí at the Mater Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin 7, also on May 8, 2018.
He has four previous convictions for road traffic offences including drink driving.
Sentencing him today,Judge Karen O’Connor said Nolan was a vulnerable person who had been taken advantage of and manipulated by others to hold the drugs.
She said Nolan had made good progress in addressing his addiction issues and noted he has been offered a residential treatment place.
She handed down a two year sentence and suspended it on a number of conditions, including that Nolan attend residential treatment.
At a previous sentence hearing the judge said she was concerned that Nolan sees himself in a dark tunnel with no light at the end. She told him that “there is always light at the end”.
A local garda told Michael Hourigan BL, prosecuting, that gardaí received a report that the accused man had been shot in the face.
They arrived at his address at 3AM to discover Nolan in the front garden with a wound to his left cheek.
Nolan told gardaí that he had been shot by three young men wearing balaclavas before he was brought to hospital. Gardaí began a search of the area and went to inform Nolan’s mother of the incident, only to be told by her that she believed he had caused the injury himself.
Gardaí searched Nolan’s bedroom where they found blood on the floor and a handgun in a drawer. They also discovered heroin with a value of €15,537 and cocaine with a value of €933.
Nolan again told gardaí he had been attacked when questioned by them in hospital, but accepted responsibility for shooting himself when interviewed in a garda station the following day. He said he had drunk a bottle of whiskey and a shoulder of vodka leading up to the incident.
The accused told gardaí that his mother did not want him to drink spirits and this caused arguments between them. During one of these arguments he said he would shoot himself, which his mother did not take seriously as she did not know he had a gun.
Nolan said he went to his bedroom and took out his gun, which he had purchased online using Bitcoin and was only capable of firing blanks and flares.
He raised the gun to his cheek and shot himself with a blank.
The garda agreed with James Dwyer SC, defending, that his client agreed to hold the drugs for another person.
He agreed that Nolan told gardaí he had made up the story about being shot because he “did not want people to think he is a lunatic”.
Mr Dwyer said his client began heavily using alcohol while in secondary school and has no history of employment.
He said Nolan continues to abuse alcohol “on an almost daily basis”.
Counsel said his client had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication. He said a psychological assessment determined Nolan was of low self-esteem and vulnerable to associating with others who do not have his best interests at heart.
Mr Dwyer said his client had ceased contact with an individual involved in drugs and expressed “significant remorse and shame” for the offences. He described Nolan as being “something of a patsy” in relation to the drugs offences.
Download the Sunday World app
Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices