A former cannabis user who has an enormous problem with rabbits on his land appealed against a refusal of his application for a firearms certificate.
Superintendent Ronan Kennelly refused the application for a rifle certificate by Rory McCarthy, who is aged around 30 and from Realog, Monastery Road, Rochestown, County Cork.
Supt. Kennelly said during the appeal at Cork District Court that the application before him was refused in the interests of public safety, on the basis that the applicant had a 2019 conviction for a drug driving incident in 2018.
Supt. Kennelly said this conviction related to driving while under the influence of cannabis and followed a guilty plea. The superintendent said the applicant admitted he was smoking cannabis on a daily basis.
Solicitor, Killian McCarthy, said Mr McCarthy no longer used cannabis and had undertaken rifle training in the hope of getting a firearm for “vermin control”.
“He has an enormous problem with rabbits and other vermin,” Mr McCarthy said.
Rory McCarthy gave evidence in his appeal against the cert refusal: “I am trying to get a market garden started at home. I have plants but rabbits are eating them. I have lost chickens to a fox. There are always foxes around. I want to get the show on the road with the garden.”
He said he had been hoping to get a 17 calibre Tikka rifle, designed for shooting vermin.
Referring to his drug driving conviction, he said: “At the time I was using marijuana regularly. I stopped using it in 2020 and I haven’t gone back on it since.”
He added that he understood where the superintendent was coming from in relation to the cert refusal. He accepted that it is a mind-altering drug but said again that he was no longer using it.
Judge John King said he would consider the appeal against the refusal of the firearm cert on September 15. In the meantime, he directed the applicant to attend at his doctor for urinalysis on May 29 and again within 24 hours of a phone call from gardaí directing him to have a second test.
The judge said he would grant the firearm certificate in September subject to clear urinalysis in respect of those tests and subject to other standard conditions. He said if successful, a further random urinalysis would be required after the granting of the certificate.