A 26-year-old man caught with cannabis herb, and amphetamines shoved in a freezer, during a search by gardai at his place of residence has been fined €100 and ordered to carry out community service, while his flatmate was fined for possession of “self-medicating” tablets.
Ciaran O’Donovan with an address at 91 Wellpark Grove, Wellpark, Galway, appeared at Galway District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of drugs at the home address on June 8, 2011. His flatmate, Patrick Roddy (29 ) pleaded guilty to one count of possession of drugs at the same location and on the same date.
Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at 4pm gardai went to the residence of both defendants and conducted a search during which they found cannabis herb to the value of €50. The gardai also discovered amphetamines to the value of €130 stored in a freezer. When questioned about the latter O’Donovan told gardai that he had bought these drugs at a festival. The court heard that during the search gardai also discovered 13 tablets for which Roddy claimed ownership. Inspector Coppinger explained that the tablets were similar to what is commonly known as Diazepam, a benzodiazepine drug, used to relieve anxiety and produce a calming effect. Judge Mary Fahy noted that it is a type of drug that is available on prescription but unfortunately is often sold on the black market.
Defence solicitor Olivia Traynor said that following the search O’Donovan, who has no previous convictions, attended voluntarily at Galway Garda Station the next day. She added that O’Donovan is currently unemployed and is intending to go back to college in September. In relation to Roddy, Ms Traynor explained that her client, who is originally from Roscommon, had been working in the construction industry but had suffered a serious injury a few years ago. She said that Roddy had been using the drug for his own use, that he had been effectively “self-medicating”.
Judge Mary Fahy convicted O’Donovan of the possession of cannabis and fined him €100 with three months to pay. In relation to the second charge it was referred to the probation officer present in court who later explained that as O’Donovan has severe back problems and has been involved in drug use for about 13 years, with only three months abstaining, more time would be needed to prepare a community service report. The matter was then adjourned to Galway District Court on May 28 for the report and for finalisation. In relation to Roddy, Judge Fahy convicted of the one count of possession and fined him €400 with three months to pay.