Seventeen appear before Kilkenny District Court on drug charges

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Seventeen people have appeared before a special sitting of Kilkenny District Court charged with having drugs in their possession for sale or supply to others.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Clave - a garda sting surveillance operation.
All the alleged offences took place at locations across the city and county in recent months. The operation involved over 70 gardaí assisted by the National Dog Unit.
Suspects charged
Joseph Murphy, Fenview, Lovers Lane; Richard Smith, Sart, Freshford; Mark Owens, 1 Wesley Court, William Street; PJ Woods, 50 Connolly Street; Mark Fitzpatrick, Canfanaghy, Callan; Jenny Stronge, 40 Hebron Park; Calem Donovan, 36A Connolly Street; Keith Rowe of no fixed abode, Damien Delaney, 149 Robertshill; Gillian Crosby, 14 Castle Gardens, Ballyragget; Roco Pesce, Apt C 106, Railway Square, Castle Place, Waterford; Marcus Stapleton, 6 Seville Grove, Margarets Field, Callan Road; Jason McDonagh, 21 Kickham Street; Niall Staunton, 34 Pococke Lower, Johnswell Road and Thomas Brennan, 17 Church Avenue, Castlecomer were all released on bail and remanded to appear at Kilkenny District Court on January 17.
All were granted bail subject to strict conditions including signing on conditions, obeying a curfew and surrendering passports.
Gardaí objected to bail in relation to four of the defendants. In relation to Patrick Owens, 1 Wesley Court, William Street Garda Pat Prendergast outlined a number of objections. Inspector Liam Connolly also stressed that the charges before the court were of a serious nature.
Detective Sergeant Sean O'Meara said that the defendant was no longer welcomed at the address he had been residing at.
Judge Colin Daly remarked that if he granted bail it would be unlikely that the defendant would meet his bail. Therefore he refused bail and remanded him in custody to Cloverhill Prison to appear at Kilkenny District Court on December 5.
Gardaí also objected to bail in relation to Mark Owens, 1 Wesley Court, William Street because of the seriousness of the offences.
Judge Colin Daly remanded the defendant on bail on his own bond of €1,000 to December 20 for DPP's elections. He imposed a curfew, daily sign on conditions and to notify the gardaí of his address within 24 hours.
There were also objections raised in relation to Gillian Crosby.
The court heard that between 2011 and 2014 she was and an active heroin addict and that her partner had died tragically in 2015. She has since resided with her parents, who were both in court to support her. Judge Colin Daly remanded her on her own bail of €1,000 and an independent surety of €1,000 to appear before Kilkenny District Court on December 20. The judge also ordered that Crosby sign on daily, reside at the named address, observe a curfew and surrender her passport.
Craig Johnson was refused bail.
“I am remanding him to Cloverhill Prison to appear at Kilkenny Court on December 5,” said the judge.

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