Dublin Drugs Dealer Jailed For 18 Years

A Dublin man has today been jailed for 18 years after transporting €6.4 million worth of heroin in his van.

Michael Byrne, 36, of Old Tower, Clondalkin, was found guilty by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of possessing 32 kilograms of heroin in the Culmore Road area of Palmerstown on January 15th, 2008 following a six-day trial last month.

While delivering the sentence, Judge Frank O'Donnell told Byrne, who has 19 previous convictions including assaulting gardaí, larceny and handling stolen property, he had given a "calculated and well-rehearsed performance" in the witness box during his trial.

Judge O'Donnell described the father-of-five as a "drug baron" who was "no small fry in the (drugs) industry" and accused him of feigned concern for his children describing his testimony as "a performance Laurence Olivier would have been proud of".

Judge O'Donnell complimented the gardaí on their work in the case and said he was going to "send out a message" with the 18-year sentence.

Today's sentence comes only days after a major Irish drug figure, Eamon Dunne, was shot dead in a what has been described as a "professional hit" at the weekend.


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