Garda dog unit found cannabis in horse feed barrel: Man jailed after collecting drugs in North Cork 

Garda dog unit found cannabis in horse feed barrel: Man jailed after collecting drugs in North Cork 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a jail term of 18 months with the last six months suspended.

The garda dog unit helped to uncover a stash of cannabis in a horse feed barrel and another stash of the drug in a nearby ditch in the Mitchelstown area.

Detective Garda Denise Fitzgerald said she came out of her concealed position in Ballindangan, Mitchelstown, County Cork, when Eugene Rice of Fulacht Fiadh Place, Stag Park, Mitchelstown, County Cork, arrived to pick up drugs at the remote locations.

He was arrested as he was in the process of removing drugs at the scene shortly after 6pm on December 8 2020.

The 28-year-old said the reason he was involved in this activity was in an effort to clear a debt of €70,000.

Defence barrister Alison McCarthy put that debt at €80,000 which she said arose from chaotic drugs use.

As evidence of the pressure on Rice to move drugs as directed by others, Ms McCarthy said he had his face slashed so severely he required to have 350 stitches to his facial wounds and stab wounds.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a jail term of 18 months with the last six months suspended.

But he made the 12 months of jail time consecutive to another 12-month sentence imposed on him recently at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The latter one-year sentence had been suspended in an assault case on condition that he would keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the following two years but he breached those conditions.

When that suspension was revoked recently, Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “I gave him a chance and he did not take it. He did not make any effort with the opportunity I gave him.”

While Rice was given the suspended jail term in July 2019, the assault causing harm charge dated back much further to January 31 2017.

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