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Donation from drugs cases may result in the training of new assistance dog

December 19th, 2019 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A DISTRICT Court Judge said that there will be enough money to train an assistance dog at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind after a total of €600 was donated to the charity.

Judge Marie Keane made the remark at Bandon District Court last week where she was dealing with several drugs possession cases, including two arising from the Kinsale 7s rugby event earlier this year.

Jack Fielding  (21) of 23 Castledomain Monkstown, Cork pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine in Kinsale on May 4th last.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that Gda Sean O’Connor was on plain clothes duty at the time and saw the defendant holding a small white bag and putting it into his pocket.

‘Gda O’Connor identified himself as a garda and he carried out a search of the defendant and found cocaine to the value of €80 on him,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘The defendant admitted it was for his own use.’

Defence solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said his client is a final year engineering student at UCC, has no previous convictions and co-operated fully with gardaí.

‘He now realises the consequences of his actions and has a clear urinalysis here in court and has committed to stay away from drugs. He’s very conscious of the restrictions that could be placed on him,’ said Mr Taaffe.

He handed him a metal grinder and a plastic grinder, both having traces of cannabis in them

Judge Marie Keane noted the plea, no previous convictions and that the defendant is a student with some prospects. She directed that he pay €200 to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, which was then paid in court and she struck out the case.

At the same court sitting, Michael Meehan of 52 Rochestown Rise, Rochestown Road, Cork city pleaded guilty to the possession of cannabis in Kinsale on May 5th last.

Sgt Paul Kelly said that Gda Sean O’Connor, who was on plain clothes duty on the day, passed the defendant and smelled cannabis from him.

‘Following a search, he handed over a small quantity of cannabis herb to Gda O’Connor,’ said Sgt Kelly.

The value of the drugs was between €8 and €10 and he has no previous convictions, the court heard.

Solicitor Jenny Fitzgibbon said her client is in good employment and that a conviction would have serious implications regarding that and also for any travel plans.

‘He was extremely co-operative and very apologetic and pleaded at the first opportunity. He handed over the cannabis to Gda O’Connor,’ said Ms Fitzgibbon.

Judge Keane also directed the defendant to donate €200 to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, which was paid in court and she struck out the case.

Ms Fitzgibbon also represented David O’Donovan  (20) of Little Island, Owenahincha, Rosscarbery, who pleaded guilty to the possession of cannabis in Bandon on January 4th last.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that gardaí saw a car acting suspiciously at New Road and approached it.

‘Gda Murphy spoke to the driver and noticed the passenger was acting nervously and asked him if he had illegal substances in his possession,’ said Sgt Kelly.

He handed him a metal grinder and a plastic grinder, both having traces of cannabis in them. He also handed over a glass bong and there was minimal value of cannabis found, added the garda.

Ms Fitzgibbons said her client, who has no previous convictions, lives with his parents and works in Dunnes Stores.

‘He was unlucky and his friend wasn’t obeying the speed limit and he was then caught. He was co-operative too,’ said Ms Fitzgibbons.

Judge Keane said she was not impressed that the defendant had two implements associated with cannabis paraphernalia and also directed him to donate €200 to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Following the payment in court, she struck out the case.

‘By the end of the day we will have enough money to train an assistance dog,’ said Judge Keane.

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