A MAN who is accused of growing cannabis plants in a field near a public walkway was granted bail after he appeared in court to face drugs charges.
Granting bail, Judge John King remarked that "there must be good soil down there".
David Doran, 56, of Fairview House, Rathkeale, faces a number of charges in relation to a detection which was made at Ardnaveagh, Rathkeale, on September 1, 2017.
In addition to being charged with cultivation and possession of the drugs, he is also accused of having a knife for “harvesting purposes” on the same date.
After submitting evidence of arrest, charge and caution at Newcastle West Court Inspector Andrew Lacey said a file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions who has directed summary disposal of the case in the district court.
He told Judge King it will be alleged the defendant was observed by gardai watering and tending to the plants at around 9pm after they were alerted to them by a member of the public.
Garda Johann Hunt told the court 12 ‘fully grown’ plants – each around four feet tall – were found by gardai and that the estimated street value of the plants was around €3,000.
“They were thriving,” he said adding the location where they were found is outdoors and adjacent to a public roadway.
After hearing details of the allegations, Judge King commented there “must be good soil down there” and he suggested the estimated value of the drugs was the “hope value” rather than the actual value.
In the circumstances, the judge said he was satisfied the case was suitable to be heard in the district court and he formally accepted jurisdiction.
Mr Doran, who is in receipt of disability allowance, was granted free legal aid and solicitor Michael O’Donnell was assigned to represent him.
Mr O’Donnell sought disclosure of all garda material relating to the case and the matter was adjourned until July to allow him to consult further with his client before entering a plea.
The defendant, who was previously released on station bail by gardai, was remanded on continuing bail pending his next court appearance.