Record cannabis seizure at road haulage premises

TWO men have appeared before Dublin District Court in relation to one of the country’s biggest ever seizures of cannabis, worth over €13m.

Colm McDonald, the owner of a road haulage firm based in Lusk, Co Dublin, and Julian Gilloughly, one of his drivers, were charged with possession of the drug with intent to supply under Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

The pair were arrested following a raid on the premises of McDonald’s haulage firm at Treen Hill, Lusk on Saturday afternoon by gardaí from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the National Drugs Unit.

Detective Garda Conor Ó Murchú told the court yesterday that one tonne of cannabis worth over €13m had been found at the site. A further find of 30kg of cocaine brought the overall value of the drugs seizure to about €18m.

McDonald, 36, of Racecourse Commons, Lusk replied “no comment” when officially charged at Balbriggan Garda station, said Det Garda Ó Murchú.

Lawyers for McDonald told the court that the accused was a married father of two who had already surrendered his passport to gardaí. McDonald said he earned around €3,000 net per month.

Judge Conal Gibbons remanded him in custody with consent to bail. He then fixed McDonald's bail at €15,000 with €5,000 to be lodged, plus independent surety of €150,000, of which €50,000 also had to be lodged with the courts.

Det Garda Lorraine Travers of the NBCI gave evidence that Gilloughly had made no reply when charged with a similar offence to McDonald on Saturday afternoon.

Judge Gibbons set similar bail conditions after hearing that Gilloughly, 27, of Henrietta House, Bolton Street, Dublin 1, worked as a driver for McDonald's haulage firm.

The court heard that both men are also facing separate charges in relation to the seizure of the cocaine, which is valued at €4.5m

They were remanded in custody and will appear again before Cloverhill District Court on April 29.

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