Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A 38-year-old man caught in possession of more than €3,000 worth of cannabis for sale claimed he was selling the drug to clear a debt and to buy new items for his home.

He appeared before last Thursday’s sitting of Portlaoise district Court charged with possessing drugs and possessing drugs for sale or supply at his home address on 4 March last.

Garda Sergeant JJ Kirby gave evidence that when gardaí searched the defendant’s house they found 158g of cannabis valued at €3,160.

The defendant had five previous convictions.

Solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said that his client, a Polish national who has lived in Ireland for seven years, had previously been working but, after losing his job, he developed an addiction to cannabis and alcohol.

Mr Fitzgerald said that the defendant had been homeless for a period, which caused his addiction issues to escalate, but he has since obtained a house through the Peter McVerry Trust.

The solicitor went on to say that the defendant had “financial restraints” in getting items for the house and also had a cannabis debt to pay off, which was why he had been selling cannabis to raise funds.

Judge Catherine Staines said that the houses provided by the Peter McVerry Trust are very well provided for.

The judge asked Sgt. Kirby whether the accused had come to garda attention since, and she was informed that he had not.

The matter was put back to 16 December for a probation report.

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