A 32-year-old mechanic has been remanded in custody after he was charged in connection with a €140,000 drugs seizure by gardaí operating a Covid-19 checkpoint on the main Cork-Dublin road.
Thomas Gahan was arrested after being stopped at a checkpoint on the N8 at Killydonoghue, Glanmire, Co Cork at 8.20pm on March 23rd.
On Thursday, Mr Gahan of Kilmahuddrick Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, was brought before Cork District Court and charged with drugs offences following the discovery of cannabis herb in his van.
Mr Gahan was charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Killydonoghue, Glanmire, Cork, contrary to Sections 3 and 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Garda Ray O’Brien gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that gardaí were objecting to bail on a number of grounds including the seriousness of the charges.
Another ground for objection was the nature and strength of evidence and gardaí would allege Mr Gahan’s van was searched at the scene and €140,000 worth of cannabis herb was found, he said.
Garda O’Brien told the court Mr Gahan had told gardaí that he previously had a cocaine addiction but that this was in the past and he was now an occasional user of the drug.
Garda O’Brien said gardaí were also objecting to bail because Mr Gahan allegedly gave a false name and address and other details when first questioned.
The garda alleged Mr Gahan 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
Questioned by his solicitor, Eddie Burke, about the allegation that he had given gardaí false information about his identity, something he is not charged with, Mr Gahan said he panicked.
Cross-examined by Sgt Gearóid Davis for the State if he agreed with Garda O’Brien’s account of their interactions, Mr Gahan told the court that he did agree with the garda’s account of events.
"It was pure panic. I absolutely panicked from the start," said Mr Gahan adding that he gave his correct name to gardaí as soon as he woke up the following morning at Mayfield Garda station.
Mr Gahan said he had been promoted to the position of mobile mechanic and was on the road in a company van. He said he had been employed full-time with the company for the past two years.
Judge Olann Kelleher summarised the evidence he had heard and refused the bail application.
Mr Gahan had pledged he would abide by any bail conditions such as signing on twice daily at his local Garda station but the judge remanded him in custody to appear again on March 31st.