Suspended sentence for Kildare man (59) who grew cannabis for medicinal use

The former jockey told the court that he grew the cannabis to ease his arthritis

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Suspended sentence for Kildare man (59) who grew cannabis for medicinal use

The case was heard in Naas

A 59-year-old man who was found cultivating cannabis at an address in the Curragh, and told Gardai it was for medicinal use, was given a two year suspended sentence at Naas Circuit Court on July 26 after pleading guilty to a charge of cannabis cultivation last February.

He was returned for trial in December 2017, last from the District Court.

Garda Daniel O’Shea told the court that he and a colleague searched the third floor of the property, which was occupied by Joseph Daly, of Wesley House, Curragh, on October 14, 2016.

Gardai had obtained a search warrant from the court after getting information. They found cannabis plants, estimated to be worth €2,400, and cannabis materials, with an estimated street value of €8,450, and equipment used in the cultivation.

Garda O’Shea told Sharabee Morrin BL, representing Mr Daly, that it was accepted that Mr Daly was not cultivating for monetary gain, but for medical reasons.

He had arthritis (although Judge Eoin Garavan noted that this was not medically certified) believed to be from a serious car crash some years earlier.

While he gave some friends some of the cannabis, it was not for monetary gain.

Mr Daly was making cannabis oil capsules and there was no evidence he was smoking it, the court was told. It also heard that some was used to help his brother who was seriously ill and had since died.

Mr Daly was extremely cooperative with the Gardai and when taken to Newbridge Garda station at the time, made admission without a solicitor, though one was offered.

Mr Morrin said the supply found would last Mr Daly around six months from a medicinal point of view. He said Mr Daly was from Ennis and came from a family of 18.

He moved to Kildare when he was 12 and was an apprentice jockey until his early twenties when he joined the Irish Army, in which he became a corporal. He had researched the cultivation of cannabis.

Mr Morrin said Mr Daly was “a man of faith” and was embarassed and remorseful about the charges. He had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He had no relevant previous convictions.

Judge Garavan said the Probation Report on Mr Daly was very favourable and he gave him a two year sentence but suspended it all.