Son of anti-drugs TD Ferris caught with cannabis
THE son of Sinn Fein TD and ardent anti-drugs campaigner Martin Ferris appeared in court yesterday accused of having a "tiny amount" of cannabis in his possession.
Cianan Ferris (27) of The Village, Ardfert, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act at the Abbey car park in Tralee on August 22, 2010, during the Rose of Tralee Festival.
The defendant's father is Kerry North/West Limerick TD Martin Ferris, who has been a lifelong campaigner against the availability of illegal drugs and also campaigned for the closure of head shops.
Mr Ferris told the Irish Independent he was disappointed with his son's behaviour but hoped he had learnt his lesson.
"Obviously, like any parent, I'm very disappointed and he did not get any example of that in the family home," Mr Ferris said. "I've spent all my life campaigning against the availability of drugs and will continue to do so.
"Both his mother and I are very disappointed. He's 27 and I expected more, but I suppose most families around the country are not untouched by this."
Judge James O'Connor gave Cianan Ferris the benefit of the Probation Act at Tralee District Court, provided he pays €500 to the court poor box by September 7 next.
A garda on duty smelled the cannabis and approached Mr Ferris who was with another man in the Tralee car park. Mr Ferris was searched and the garda found what he said was a "small amount" of cannabis in his possession.
Mr Ferris, a part-time sign writer, admitted the drugs were his and that they were for his personal use.
Defending solicitor Pat Daly told the court the amount was so small the laboratory certificate confirming that it was cannabis did not even show a weight.
"It was a tiny amount. You could barely fit it on the top of your fingernail," Mr Daly told the court. Mr Ferris had been given the drugs by a friend, the court heard.