A former League of Ireland footballer, from Ashbourne, who was caught transporting over €27,000 of cocaine has been jailed for three years.

Gardai on patrol stopped Daniel Joyce (29) after noticing his “erratic” driving. They searched the car and found the drugs and around €5,400 of cash.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Joyce developed a cocaine habit following the conclusion of his playing career and at the time of the offence he had a drug debt of a few hundred euro.

Joyce of Johnswood Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply on the M50 northbound, Dublin, on July 17, 2020. He has 12 previous convictions, including convictions for road traffic and public order offences.

Passing sentence on Thursday, Judge Martin Nolan said Joyce came to the attention of gardaí when he was driving “erratically” on the motorway, was stopped and the cocaine was found in the boot of his car.

Judge Nolan said gardaí were also of the view that Joyce had allowed his then address to be used for the cutting up and distribution of cannabis.

He said the accused created a drug debt by his own drug taking and tried to alleviate it by involving himself in the drugs trade. He said Joyce was a mature man who should have known better, but unfortunately committed a gross error of judgement.

Judge Nolan sentenced Joyce to three years imprisonment.