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28 May 2022

Donegal man was selling cocaine to pay off €10,000 drug debt

"I am never going down that road again," defendant tells judge

Donegal Town Courthouse

Donegal Town Courthouse

A district court judge said she was prepared to look favourably on the case of a man charged with sale and supply of cocaine. 

But Judge Sandra Murphy said she would not finalise the case until the defendant had finished paying off a significant drug debt. 

Ciaran Rami, 25, of 10 Highfield House, Ballyshannon was before Donegal District Court on Monday. He had previously pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at 4 Merchant House, Killybegs on July 3, 2021.

The case had been adjourned from an earlier date to allow for urine analysis which showed that Rami had remained drug free.

Inspector David Durkin told the court that on the date in question, a search warrant was executed in respect of the defendant’s home. Rami was in a bedroom where cocaine valued at €500 was found. 

Inspector Durkin said: “He made a full admission to possession of cocaine for sale or supply. 

“He stated in interview that it was his intention to sell off the drugs to pay off a drug debt. Over a year had lowered the debt from €10,000 to €6,000.”

The defendant told Judge Murphy that he had broken his back in a car crash in 2017 and had entered what he described as ‘a downward spiral.’

He added: “It took me a few years to get out of that but I had big bills. My way out was to sell drugs.”

Rami said that getting caught had helped to put that life behind him. 

“It is probably the best thing that has happened,” he said. “It was the kick up the ass that I needed. It got me back to work; I got my life back on track.

“I am drug free for nearly a year now. I am never going down that road again.

“I would like to apologise for being the way I was, and for wasting everybody’s time.”

Judge Murphy asked the defendant how he was now managing the pain from his injury.

“I go to a personal trainer,” replied Rami. “I have a video of an exercise programme that I follow. 

“I take dyphine once in a while.”

He told the court that he was employed as a plumber and was paying off the remainder of his drug debt from his wages, and was down to the last few hundred Euro.

The judge then asked: “How are you going to maintain being drug free?”

Rami replied that he was seeing a drugs counsellor in Killybegs once or twice a month. 

Judge Murphy said: “It would seem to me that the most important thing is to attend the drug counsellor. 

“When something goes wrong in your life and you turn to drugs, you obviously have an addictive personality so it is very important to maintain that counselling.”

The judge said she had read the probation and community service report and was prepared to deal with the matter favourably. However, she expressed concern that Rami still had contact with those to whom he owed money. 

“I am going to put this back until the drug debt is paid off,” she said. 

“Until this man is completely disassociated with those people and has put his drug debt and those people out of his life, the temptation is still there.”

Judge Murphy adjourned the case until July 25 to allow for the debt to be paid in full. 

She told the defendant: “Mr Rami, I want you out of that world.”

The judge granted a destruction order in respect of the cocaine. 

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