Welshman caught growing cannabis in rural Limerick home

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A WELSHMAN living near Templeglantine started growing his own cannabis because he wanted to smoke it for medicinal purposes but did not want to go out looking for dealers, a court has heard.

A WELSHMAN living near Templeglantine started growing his own cannabis because he wanted to smoke it for medicinal purposes but did not want to go out looking for dealers, a court has heard.

On September 17, 2010 Detective Garda Michael Herlihy carried out a search of the home of 36-year-old Nick Evans at Tullig North, Templeglantine, and found cannabis plants and cannabis leaf worth a total of €1,500.

Mr Evans, who was not at home at the time, was later arrested in connection with the search and admitted that he had been growing the drugs for his own use.

Speaking in court in Newcastle West, Insp Eamon O’Neill said that an unlicensed air rifle was also found and seized during the search. Mr Evans later claimed that the rifle was “for shooting vermin”.

Solicitor Pat Enright, defending, said that Mr Evans is a Welsh native who lives a “very simple ” and “quite an alternative lifestyle” in rural West Limerick with his wife and children.

Mr Enright said that Mr Evans previously suffered a “bad accident” in which his left hand was crushed by an engine block.

Mr Evans “found that cannabis was helping” with the pain from his injuries, and rather than go seeking drug dealers he decided it would be safer to “grow it himself”.

Mr Enright said that Mr Evans’ air rifle was legally bought and licensed in the UK, and he had “no nefarious purpose” when bringing it with him to Ireland.

Mr Enright added that Mr Evans is no longer growing cannabis, is looking for work and is “trying to better himself”.

Judge Mary O’Halloran fined Mr Evans €250 for cultivation of drugs, contrary to section 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

She fined him a further €100 for possession of the air rifle contrary to Section 2 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, and also ordered that the rifle be permanently confiscated by the gardai.