A YOUNG man caught with more than €1,400 worth of cannabis herb started dealing it to his friends in an effort to fund his own drug habit, a court heard.
Gary Reeves (22) was found with the drugs and a large sum of cash after gardai searched his home in west Dublin.
Judge David McHugh ordered Reeves to complete 200 hours community service in lieu of five months in prison.
The defendant, of Dunsink Gardens in Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court possession of cannabis, as well as having the drug for sale or supply.
The street value of the drug was €1,440.
Garda Mark Quill said he was on mobile patrol on Berryfield Drive in Finglas shortly before 2pm on January 22 last when he saw two men acting suspiciously.
Garda Quill stopped and searched Reeves, who handed over eight small bags of cannabis, worth €240, and a large sum of cash.
The garda obtained a search warrant and searched Reeves's home, during which cannabis herb with a street value of €1,200 was found.
The court heard that Reeves has one previous conviction for drugs.
Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said the defendant was a regular cannabis user and started selling the drug among his friends to fund his own use.
Mr Fleming said the price of cannabis has risen sharply in the past few years and Reeves had got into financial difficulties.
As a result, he started selling to his friends.
He said the defendant, who hopes to study science in college, hasn't been in trouble since the incident.