A talented GAA player who has represented Cork as a minor was told by a judge sentencing him for having cannabis for his own use that he would be “mad not to go back to the football”.
John Corcoran of 14 O’Connell Crescent, Turner’s Cross, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to counts of having cannabis for his own use on three different occasions.
Defence solicitor, Eddie Burke, said, “He is a former minor Cork footballer.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said the young man would be much better off playing football than using cannabis.
The defendant confirmed that he is 22 years old. Judge Kelleher asked, “Why don’t you go back to it?” Corcoran replied, “I would love to.”
Judge Kelleher said,
“It would be crazy for a man like you to be going to prison. Do you need treatment?”
Corcoran replied, “Honestly judge, I don’t think I do.”
The judge reminded the defence solicitor that the accused had put himself in the category of being at risk of a custodial sentence by virtue of the number of offences committed.
Mr Burke said the accused had not come to the attention of gardaí since the most recent offence in April 2021.
Garda Mark O’Donovan searched John Corcoran at 10pm April 12 2021 on Spur Hill, Cork, and found that he he had cannabis for his own use in his car. The search was carried out because the guard got a strong strong smell cannabis from the defendant’s car. Garda O’Donovan encountered him on February 13 2021 on Pearse Road, Togher, and again he had cannabis for his own use. Garda Ronan McGuckian found the accused had another small quantity of the drugs on December 15 2020.
The judge said the defendant could do 100 hours of community service instead of a prison sentence. “If you don’t do it you will be in custody,” the judge warned.
As the case was finalised, Judge Kelleher said again to John Corcoran, “None of my business but you’d be mad not to go back to the football.”