Key witness unavailable to attend inquest into death of major figure in Tralee drugs underworld

An inquest into the death of one of the key figures in Tralee’s drugs underworld has been adjourned. coroners court North Kerry Coroner’s Court was due to hear evidence at the inquest into the death of James Powell. The 40-year-old father of four died suddenly at his home in Ballymullen in July last year. Coroner Helen Lucey heard a key witness was unavailable. She adjourned the matter until September. James Powell of The Willows, Clonmore, Ballymullen and late of Urban Terrace, Boherbee, Tralee, died at his home on July 16th last. Mr Powell had 23 convictions dating back to 1992 and was described by gardai as being a “a major player” in Kerry’s drugs world. Gardai said he had “significant and ominous connections” including the McCarthy-Dundon gang in Limerick. He was jailed for four years in March 2006 in connection with the seizure of €370,000 worth of cannabis in Tralee. He was also linked, though never charged, with the discovery of over 8.8kg of amphetamines and 8,000 ecstasy tablets in Ballinorig in June 2011. His inquest was due to be held at North Kerry Coroner’s court sitting in Tralee today. Coroner Helen Lucey was told an essential witness was not available. She adjourned the inquest until September 25th.