The case against a Dubliner who was allegedly caught at a routine Covid checkpoint in Cork with a €140,000 stash of cannabis herb will be struck out in a fortnight – unless the Director of Public Prosecutions gives directions.
Judge Olann Kelleher yesterday directed that the case would be struck out in the absence of directions – or an explanation for why they were not forthcoming.
Eddie Burke solicitor pressed Judge Kelleher on the matter again at Cork District Court, submitting that the case should be struck out.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said he spoke to the officer in charge of the investigation – Detective Sergeant Joe Young – and could confirm that the file had been sent to the DPP.
“Directions are imminent. The case is going as quickly as we can. It is outside the hands of An Garda Síochána, it is in the hands of a third party,” Sgt Lyons said.
Mr Burke said that in effect the DPP represented An Garda Síochána in a prosecution. Sgt Lyons replied: “They don’t answer to us.”
Judge Kelleher said: “It will be struck out on August 9 if there are no directions from the DPP or if no explanation is given.” Gahan appeared at Cork District Court by video link from prison.
32-year-old Thomas Gahan of Kilmahuddrick Road, Clondalkin, was arrested by Garda Ray O’Brien on charges of possession of cannabis and having the illegal drug for the purpose of selling or supplying to others.
One of the allegations made by Garda O’Brien in the course of Gahan’s initial bail objection was that Gahan had given him a false name and details. He alleged that the defendant gave the name of a relative and supplied a number of details such as address and date of birth that tallied with the false name which he had given. Gahan later said he panicked.
Garda O’Brien also said that the young man told them that he previously had a cocaine addiction but that this was in the past and he was now an occasional user.
The checkpoint that gave rise to the charges was on the M8 at Killydonoghue in Glanmire and the defendant was stopped driving his van at 8.20pm on Tuesday March 23. It was alleged that his vehicle was searched at the scene and a large amount of suspected cannabis herb with a street value of €140,000 was found in the rear of the van.