Macroom's Townlands Carnival director, Sam Beshoff, jailed for drug-dealing

The court heard that when Beshoff was stopped in his car by gardaí he sped off and collided head-on with a van
Macroom's Townlands Carnival director, Sam Beshoff, jailed for drug-dealing

Detective Garda Shannon said Beshoff (pictured here in 2007) had operated a successful seaside barista van during the summer and had a career prior to Covid in event management, running the Townlands Carnival in Macroom. File photo: Neil Danton

Director of the Townlands Carnival in Macroom – Sam Beshoff – has been jailed for three years for drug-dealing.

Detective Garda Shannon Ryan testified detectives were investigating the supply of drugs in the West Cork area and the target of their investigation for a significant period was Sam Beshoff.

On Sunday, September 6, 2020, they observed Sam Beshoff, 40, with an address at Coominches, Allihies, Beara, County Cork, driving his black Volkswagen Golf at Patrickswell, County Limerick, where a suspected drugs transaction occurred.

They then followed his car to Kilgarvan, County Kerry, where they approached his car, identified themselves as gardaí and said they were going to conduct a search at lunchtime that day.

“On identifying themselves he obstructed gardaí and took off at speed on narrow roads.

“He collided head-on with a van driving in the area causing some injury for the driver – a local man,” Det. Garda Ryan said.

The Volkswagen was searched and six kilos of cannabis were located concealed within the spare wheel. When questioned about the matter he admitted that he had picked up the cannabis in Dublin the previous day and concealed it in the spare wheel.

On investigation the person he met at Patrickswell in Limerick was stopped in Portlaoise. His vehicle was searched. Two kilos of cannabis were found – hidden similarly in the spare wheel.

Beshoff pleaded guilty to supplying the €11,000 worth of drugs in Limerick and having €33,000 worth of cannabis for sale or supply at Kilgarvan later the same day. He also admitted dangerous driving and obstruction of gardaí. 

Detective Garda Shannon said Beshoff had operated a successful seaside barista van during the summer and had a career prior to Covid in event management, running the Townlands Carnival in Macroom.

The detective said the injured van driver was still recovering from minor injuries. Defence barrister Ronan Barnes said there were testimonials from members of the local community - business, religious and family.

'He had a bad day'

Judge Helen Boyle said these testimonials spoke of his work ethic in the food and music industries and his previously good character. Urinalysis showed he was clear of drugs.

Mr Barnes said: “It is somewhat unusual for a man of 40 to come before the court for the first time.

“Having been apprehended he reacted in the worst way. He took off. He panicked when the drugs squad swooped. He panicked and fled. It was an entirely wrong thing to do but he did it in panic.

“He had a bad day. But he had many good days previously. He is a man who has always worked hard and has always been enterprising. Where this was a dreadful day – his worst day – he has the capacity for many good days ahead.” 

Judge Boyle said in her sentencing of Beshoff for having cannabis for sale or supply: “It is harmful to the mental health of young people and you were knowingly involved in the distribution of that in a commercial enterprise. You appear to have run successful legitimate businesses in the past. I will impose a sentence of four years with the final year suspended.”

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