Trevor Cobbett, aged 38, of Sandymount Close, Lisburn, Co Antrim, pleaded guilty to the charge at Limerick Circuit Court.
Detective Garda David Baynham of the divisional drugs squad told the court that Cobbett was stopped at about 8am on May 7, 2010, driving a Vauxhall on the N7 near Castleconnell.
Gardaí discovered 20kg of cannabis worth €240,000 in two sealed cardboard boxes in the car boot. The drugs were wrapped in 1kg packages.
Cabbott, a married father of two who worked as a logistics manager, was alone and told gardaí he was to meet another man in Birdhill at 8am.
Det Gda Baynham said Cobbett was nervous and sweating when speaking to the gardaí. During questioning, he claimed he had been asked by a man he knew in the North to transport a few boxes, and was offered €250.
Cobbett said he believed the boxes contained about €50,000 in cash, which was to be used to buy diesel to bring back to the North.
Det Gda Baynham said gardaí were sceptical about Cobbett’s claim that he was getting €250 to travel to Limerick, given that the journey would have cost about €50 in fuel.
Senior counsel Andrew Sexton, for Cobbett, said the accused had lost his job over the offence and it had caused his family a great deal of anxiety.
Judge Carroll Moran said Cobbett had pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions. Having lost his job, he said, Cobbett had no trappings of wealth and no career prospects.
The amount of drugs involved, the judge said, brought the case onto a very serious level.
Cobbett had been on bail and went into custody last Tuesday.