A drugs offender who applied for free legal aid despite having attended a Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas two weeks earlier has been ordered to carry out community service.
Unemployed Darren Snee (26) dropped the legal aid application after his Vegas trip came to light. The father-of-one had privately retained legal representation when his case was finalised at Blanchardstown District Court.
Snee admitted possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply at his home on June 4 last year. He also pleaded guilty to having a small amount of cannabis on the same date.
Just over €1,000 worth of drugs were found in a garda raid at his home. Judge David McHugh ordered him to carry out 240 hours of community service instead of a three-month prison sentence.
The court heard gardai searched the accused's home at 8.10pm and found €963 worth of cocaine and €55 worth of cannabis.
Snee was co-operative with the gardai. He had prior convictions for offences including drug possession.
He had a "terrible track record in relation to drugs", his solicitor said.
Snee had done an air conditioning apprenticeship but was out of work.
He was chronically addicted to cannabis at the time and became "immersed in that very murky area", his solicitor said.
The accused had since "turned his life around" and was off drugs. His father had recently retired and was trying to mentor him into "getting meaningful employment rather than getting into trouble".
Snee - of Oak Court Close, Palmerstown - was also involved in boxing. His child was under two years old.
When the case was before the court last December, Snee had applied for free legal aid.
However, the court was told he had gone to Las Vegas a month earlier and gardai queried how he could have afforded this trip if he was unemployed and in receipt of social welfare.
Judge McHugh had also said at the time this was a "matter for concern", and requested a statement of the defendant's financial means.