Man who held €200,000 worth of cannabis in garden shed in order to pay off drug debt is jailed
A man who held €200,000 worth of cannabis in his garden shed in order to pay off a drug debt has been jailed for four years.
Rory Monaghan's eight and 14-year-old children were at home alone when gardaí forced entry at 4pm. Monaghan arrived home about two hours later but left again when he saw the patrol cars.
He returned a short time later and took full responsibility for the cannabis which had been stored in 19 bags in a shed in the back garden. He said the drugs had been delivered to his home that day.
Monaghan (48) of Yellow Meadow Vale, Clondakin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs at his home on February 22, 2014. He has no previous convictions.
Garda Gavin Curran told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that one garda looked after Monaghan's children while colleagues searched the house for drugs before the cannabis was discovered. There was also a compressor in the shed. Monaghan later told gardaí he never used the compressor himself.
Monaghan said he had a cocaine addiction which had become serious in the last two or three years. He said money was to be taken off his drug debt for minding the cannabis.
Gda Curran agreed with Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that Monaghan no longer associated with the people who got him to mind the drugs and officers accepted his explanation.
Mr Dwyer told Judge Martin Nolan that Monaghan's family were forced to make repayments after the consignment of cannabis was seized by gardaí. His wife, mother-in-law and mother all borrowed money to help him clear this debt and he no longer associated with the people involved.
Counsel said his client, a trained chef who has worked as a truck driver, wished to apologise for his role in the offence but added that he was “up to his eyes in debt” at the time.
Judge Nolan said the people to whom Monaghan owed money, took advantage of his situation and he agreed to mind the drugs for the “sole purpose of paying off this debt”.
He accepted that Monaghan made immediate admissions, was a good family man with a good work history and had no previous convictions.
“It was once off fall from grace. He should have known better as he was a man of mature years and this was a huge error of judgement,” Judge Nolan said.