Cannabis plants seized from Kerry park site

Wed, May 25, 2011, 01:00

GARDAÍ HAVE seized almost 400 semi-mature cannabis plants on a remote site in the mountainy countryside outside Killarney, Co Kerry.

The seizure of 385 plants by Killarney gardaí near Derrycunnihy and the Eagles Nest area between Kenmare and Killarney on Monday afternoon, is one of a growing number of detections of cannabis leaf or grass plants cultivated in wilderness areas in the county, according to Kerry’s senior drugs squad garda, Sgt Declan Liddane.

In their mature state, cannabis plants are valued at €400 each, according to gardaí.

Suspects were employing the most sophisticated means, including Google Earth satellite maps to locate remote locations for cannabis cultivation in Kerry, according to the garda.

The seizure on Monday was on private rather than State-owned land, said Sgt Liddane. He said cannabis growers were increasingly using modern technology to locate suitable but remote areas for cannabis cultivation.

In a recent investigation by gardaí into a find of cannabis plants in a wood near Tralee, it emerged that Google Earth maps had been used to locate a clearing suitable for cultivation of the plants, he said. A decade ago most seizures were of cannabis resin, but now cannabis leaf was prominent in seizures, the garda said.