Limerick man who had stash of cannabis hidden in car avoids jail

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Eoin McDonnell pleaded guilty to charges relating to the seizure of a significant amount of cannabis more than two years ago

Eoin McDonnell pleaded guilty to charges relating to the seizure of a significant amount of cannabis more than two years ago

A LIMERICK man who admitted storing a stash of drugs in a 14-year-old car has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Eoin McDonnell, aged 22, who has an address at College Avenue, Moyross had pleaded guilty to charges relating to the seizure of a significant amount of cannabis more than two years ago.

Limerick Circuit Court was told a house at Bruach Na Coille, Old Cratloe Road was placed under surveillance on March 16, 2016 as part of an intelligence led operation.

While there gardai observed a man – Mr X – emerge from the house on four separate occasions to meet with other “unknown males” who had called to the front gate. On each occasion, a “brief transaction” was carried out.

The defendant, who was driving a 06-registered VW Passat arrived at around 8.30pm.

McDonnell remained outside the main entrance to the housing estate where he was observed speaking with the driver of another car for a “short time”.

Garda Alan Considine said the defendant then parked his Passat before entering the house which was under surveillance.

McDonnell quickly re-emerged from the house and went back to the person he had met a short time earlier. “They interacted for a matter of seconds,” said Garda Considine.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant was later observed walking to a 02-registered Opel Corsa and removing something from under the passenger seat. The item was placed in small nappy bag before McDonnell returned to the house.

During a search of the premises a small quantity of cannabis was located in the nappy bag which had been thrown into an open fire. A further quantity of cannabis was recovered from the Opel Corsa.

The total value of the drugs seized was €9,742 while more than €3,000 in cash was also seized.

Texts found on a mobile phone were “consistent with drug dealing” and following his arrest, McDonnell made admissions and took responsibility for the cannabis and cash.

Garda Considine said gardai were sceptical of his claim that he was the owner of the drugs but accepted he had cooperated.

Brian McInerney BL said his client has “poor cognitive skills” and is engaging with a number of agencies.

He said the father-of-two, who has a number of previous convictions, is now in full time employment which has brought an “element of steadiness” to his life.

Judge O’Donnell imposed a three year prison sentence which he suspended for three years.

He ordered that the cash seized at the house be forfeited to the State and that the drugs be destroyed.