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Mom Jailed for Drugs
A MOTHER who was caught transporting almost a kilogram of cannabis in order to pay a drug debt owed by her son will begin a two year prison sentence this week.
Margaret Purcell, aged 47, of Ballynanty, pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs worth €11,930.40 for the purpose of sale or supply on November 10, 2011.
During a sentencing hearing, Garda (police officer) Peter Colleran said he was on routine patrol at Lee Estate shortly before 7 p.m. when he observed the defendant leaving a house carrying a plastic shopping bag and a paper bag.
He became suspicious as she got into a taxi. He told the court she was “visibly nervous and extremely shaky” when he approached the vehicle.
When asked what was in the bags, Purcell replied it was “just dirty washing.”
Colleran said one of the bags appeared to contain clothes, but he subsequently found a vacuum packed-bag containing the drugs hidden inside a cushion.Following her arrest, Purcell told Gardai she had been given the drugs outside a Limerick hotel earlier that day and that she had been told to drop the package off at the green area near Ballynanty Community Center after dark.
Colleran accepted that Purcell has been put under “ferocious pressure” by other individuals to transport the drugs in order to repay a drug debt owed by her son who was in prison at the time.
Brendan Nix said his client, who has no previous convictions, was not being paid to transport the drugs. He said she believed her life and that of her son were in danger.
“She was a sprat being cobbled up by these rats,” Nix said, adding that his client, a local authority tenant, would lose her home if sent to prison.
Imposing the two year sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said such cases are “really dreadful, adding,
“Drugs are a much maligned influence on society in Ireland and they are everywhere.”
THE number of hours of marriage counseling sought by couples in the midwest has been steadily increasing in the past three years, according to a report from ACCORD.
The figures indicate an increase in demand for the Catholic organization’s two key services, marriage preparation and marriage counseling.
Figures show that in 2012, 14,232 people nationwide attended ACCORD’s marriage preparation courses. The group delivered more than 50,000 marriage counseling hours.
Ennis, the association’s Clare centre, saw 1,164 couples attended marriage preparation courses last year, down on 2011 when 2,379 individuals undertook the course. It is up on the 2010 figure however, when 1,123 couples did the pre-marriage course here.
The voluntary Catholic organization reports a marginal decrease in levels of anxiety and stress reported by clients despite the figures remaining high at 87 percent in 2010, to 83 percent in 2011 and to 82 percent in 2012.
Reports of communication difficulties have risen since 2010, when 74 percent of individuals reported criticism and insults and 79 percent reported not listening/ignoring as a problem in their relationship. In 2011 and in 2012 the figures rose to 78 percent and 82 percent respectively.
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