Acting on intelligence received, gardaí from the Cork West Divisional Drugs Unit swooped on a house in Skibbereen, but didn’t find the plants inside.
Instead they were somewhat surprised to find 150 plants in an adjoining field. The plants appeared to have grown very quickly in the humid weather and were very close to harvesting.
The swoop happened at Church Cross, Skibbereen, shortly before 3pm on Wednesday. Soon after gardaí discovered the plants they arrested the man.
According to garda sources the man, who is originally from England and who has lived in West Cork for the past 30 years, had never come to their attention before.
It’s estimated that the cannabis crop was worth approximately €120,000.
Gardaí have become used to finding cannabis plants propagated within converted houses where they are kept warm by heaters.
But the best summer in years seems to have prompted some people to grow the plants outside, saving themselves a good few euro on electricity.
“We would attribute the growth of these plants to the good weather we’ve had, especially last month and to them being well watered,” a garda source said.
The man was taken to Bandon Garda Station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. Detectives questioned him for over four hours before he was released without charge.
Gardaí said they are now preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Some of the plants have been sent to Garda Headquarters in Dublin for analysis and the rest will be destroyed.