A YOUNG man who hid two bars of cannabis resin worth €3,000 in his girlfriend's apartment has claimed he turned to drugs to cope after his brother committed suicide.
Patrick McDonnell (20) said he is now clean of drugs and plans to move to the countryside so he is not tempted to get back into business.
He said he found his brother after he committed suicide in 2007, and this had a terrible effect on him, causing him to start taking drugs.
A judge sentenced him to six months in prison suspended for one year.
The defendant, of Virginia Drive in Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to possession of cannabis resin as well as having the drug for sale or supply.
Garda Eoin Browne said he stopped McDonnell while driving in Finglas on November 20 last year, that he searched McDonnell and found a small amount of cannabis.
The vehicle and the defendant were brought back to Finglas Garda Station for a full search but no more drugs were found.
The court heard that Garda Browne got a warrant to search the defendant's girlfriend's home at Premier Square Apartments, Finglas.
During the search, two bars of cannabis resin, worth €3,000, as well as five bags of cannabis herb, worth €500, were found.
The court heard McDonnell has no previous convictions.
Defence solicitor Terence Hanahoe said the defendant never took drugs as a teenager but started taking drugs to cope after he and his brothers found another brother who committed suicide.
Mr Hanahoe said McDonnell was learning to read and write, and providing clean urine samples to his doctor. He and his sister hoped to move to the countryside to get away from Finglas, so he wasn't tempted to get back into business.
The solicitor said the defendant would query the value of the cannabis, saying it was worth less than €3,500.
Judge Patrick McMahon fined McDonnell €400 and sentenced him to six months in prison, suspended for one year.