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Footballer gave up drugs after garda raid

A KEEN footballer who was found with a stash of cannabis said getting caught helped him realise the negative impact it was having on him.

William McGrath (22) said he was smoking "quite a bit" of cannabis at one stage, but after gardai searched his family home he stopped using it and got involved with his local football club. A judge ordered McGrath to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of three months in prison.

The defendant admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to possession of cannabis as well as having the drug for sale or supply.

The street value of the cannabis was €900.

Garda Sergeant Mary Diskin said gardai searched McGrath's family home at Moreen Avenue in Sandyford under warrant on July 17 last year and found the cannabis.

McGrath admitted the drug belonged to him. The court heard he previously received the benefit of the Probation Act for possession of drugs.

Defence solicitor Ronnie Lynam said McGrath was using cannabis at the time of the offence, and he also sold the drug so he could afford to buy more of it.

Mr Lynam said getting caught forced McGrath to examine his behaviour, and how it was impacting on those around him.

He has given up the drug and is back playing with his local football team.

The court heard the defendant is currently unemployed but previously worked as a cleaner, and recently completed a chainsaw course.

Judge Ann Ryan said the charge was very serious and the defendant has a previous conviction under the same act.

The judge ordered a probation report and ordered McGrath to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of three months.