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Louth court gives man who was caught with cannabis a ‘really big chance’



A 26-year-old man remanded on continuing bail to donate to charity for a drugs offence, has been told he was getting a big chance.

Joseph Reilly, Shamrock Grove, Dunleer, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis valued €700 in Drogheda last year. A second charge of possession of the drugs for sale or supply was withdrawn by the State.

The case was put back for him to give €1,000 to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

Sgt John O’Hehir presented evidence that on 14 April 2021 gardaí received a call about a man causing a disturbance in West Street.

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Reilly tried to evade gardaí. Cannabis worth €700 was found on him.

There were no previous convictions.

Solicitor Barry Callan said it was accepted that the drugs were for his client’s own use.

A warehouse operative earning €520 per-week, he had begun using drugs in his mid-teens like his peers and fell into the habit.

Judge Finan said he could donate €2,000.

Mr Callan submitted that Reilly was no longer using and had obtained four clear urinalysis reports. The solicitor asked the court to consider a lower amount and said that Judge McKiernan would take €300 for a Section 3 drugs charge.

‘I’m much more expensive than that,’ remarked Judge Finan.

She said if €1,000 was paid to the NICU the court would strike out the charge. If not, the defendant would be convicted and fined €700.

‘You are getting a really big chance here. That’s a huge amount of cannabis to be walking around Drogheda with,’ the judge told Reilly.

She added if he needed that amount there was an issue to be addressed.

The defendant was remanded on continuing bail to 5 December next.