Irish league football star is facing ‘magic mushrooms’ and cocaine charges

Mark Clarke (centre) playing in the Danske Bank Irish premier league match betwen Carrick Rangers and Ballymena United at Taylors avenue Carrick in August.  Photograph by Stephen  Hamilton Presseye

Mark Clarke (centre) playing in the Danske Bank Irish premier league match betwen Carrick Rangers and Ballymena United at Taylors avenue Carrick in August. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton Presseye

AN Irish League football star has been charged with possessing and importing cocaine, ‘magic mushrooms’ and herbal cannabis.

Mark Clarke (27), of Springfield Road, Belfast, who started this season with Carrick Rangers, had his case mentioned at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

He faces six charges including possessing Class A cocaine and and another Class A substance - Psilocybin, commonly known as ‘magic mushrooms’.

The offences are alleged to have been committed on Tuesday November 3, 2015.

On the same date Clarke is also charged with possessing Class B herbal cannabis.

He faces three more charges of fraudulently importing cocaine, Psilocybin and herbal cannabis on the same date.

Clarke was present in the court building for his first appearance in connection with the charges but was not in the actual court room when the case was mentioned.

His defence solicitor asked for the case to be adjourned to a later date to take instructions in the case.

No details surrounding the alleged offences were outlined to the court.

The solicitor however applied for legal aid for her Clarke saying he earned £220 a week.

District Judge Allan White said he would consider the legal aid matter when he gets proof of the accused’s income.

Clarke formerly played for Cliftonville and Glentoran and at the time of the alleged offences was on the books of Warrenpoint Town.

After the alleged offences in November last year he was still playing for Warrenpoint.

He signed for Carrick Rangers this season and has played for them this term and is listed on the club’s website as a member of their first team squad.