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Man caught with drugs worth €1.5m had breakdown after gangster brother’s murder, court hears

Stephen Carberry (45), of Burnell Court in Dublin, is the older brother of Richie Carberry

Stephen Carberry will be sentenced later this year. Photo: Paddy Cummins.

Richie Carberry.

Robin Schiller

A man caught with €1.5 million worth of drugs suffered a breakdown a year after his brother was murdered, a court has heard.

Stephen Carberry (45), of Burnell Court in Dublin 13, will be sentenced later this year over the major ecstasy and cannabis haul which was seized over ten years ago.

The defendant has been a target for gardaí investigating organised and serious criminality in the capital and was arrested following a garda surveillance operation.

He is the older brother of Richie Carberry (39), a crime figure who was shot dead outside his home in November 2019 as part of the Drogheda feud.

Richie Carberry.

Dublin Circuit Court today heard that Stephen Carberry suffered an emotional breakdown on the first anniversary of his sibling's murder.

Earlier prosecution counsel Fiona Crawford BL took Sgt Vincent Campbell, of Store Street garda station, through the facts of the case.

He said that on May 21, 2013, the defendant – as well as a place he was residing at in Dublin – were placed under surveillance

Two days later Carberry was stopped driving a BMW car on Fitzmaurice Road, Glasnevin, and arrested while a house in the Strand, Donabate, was also searched.

Keys to the house as well as a locked room in the property were found on Carberry when he was stopped.

When gardaí searched the premises, they recovered a large quantity of blue tablets and plant like material in tartan bags.

Following analysis the drugs were established to be ecstasy, with a combined value of nearly €968,900, and cannabis with a total street value of €559,526.

Sgt Campbell said that the defendant's DNA was also found on a phone charger inside the property.

He was later charged and following several "unforeseen and uncontrollable" delays was convicted following a trial last month.

A jury found him guilty of five charges including possession of drugs for the purposes of sale and supply, and for having controlled drugs valued at over €13,000 for sale or supply.

The court heard Stephen Carberry has 73 previous convictions at district court level including for possession of knives, dangerous driving, and driving while intoxicated.

Sgt Campbell said that 11 of these convictions are currently being appealed.

Judge Elma Sheahan was told that there was a delay in the matter proceeding to trial for different reasons, including a review by the higher courts around the possession of ecstasy and whether it was a controlled drug or not.

Stephen Carberry was initially refused bail when charged in March 2014 and spent almost a year in custody before being re-charged.

The prosecuting member agreed with Garret Baker SC, defending, that his client was admitted to an intensive care unit in October 2020 with Covid-19 which delayed his case.

Mr Baker also said that his client's brother was murdered in 2019 and that Stephen Carberry suffered an emotional breakdown on the first anniversary of that death.

The court was told the defendant is a father-of-six and that three of his children, under the age of 21, live with and are dependent on him. Counsel also asked the judge to take into consideration the lack of previous convictions for drug matters, his client's personal circumstances, and his health which include suffering from long Covid.

Mr Baker also submitted that the offence happened over a decade ago but was delayed due to a number of "unforeseen" and "uncontrollable" reasons.

He asked the court to be as lenient as possible with his client and to not "lock him up and throw away the key".

Judge Sheahan adjourned sentencing until July 26 pending a urine analysis report from the prison service.

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