‘Ham-fisted’ drug growhouse in Mountrath

A MOUNTRATH man’s “amateuristic, ham-fisted” attempts to operate a cannabis growhouse at his home saw him last week appear before the District Court on cultivation charges.

A MOUNTRATH man’s “amateuristic, ham-fisted” attempts to operate a cannabis growhouse at his home saw him last week appear before the District Court on cultivation charges.

Shane Grehan, 10 Kiln Lane, Mountrath, was also charged with possession of a drug and possession for sale or supply, at Fairgreen, Portlaoise on August 27 last year.

Inspector Martin Smethers gave evidence that the defendant was observed doing a drug deal with another male in Fairgreen, involving four deals of heroin with a street value of at €80. A search warrant was obtained by gardaí and cannabis plants were discovered at his home.

Defence, Mr Declan Breen said Grehan had travelled by taxi to Portlaoise to do the drug deal and was subsequently caught by gardaí.

In relation to the cultivation charge, Mr Breen said that the cannabis plants were on Grehan’s mother’s premises and it had been “an amateuristic, ham-fisted attempt” to grow eight plants in pots in the greenhouse, under “normal Irish conditions”. Mr Breen pointed out there was no lighting equipment used, nor any of the usual paraphernalia associated with cultivation.

“He never had any hope of succeeding, the saplings had not developed. The growing period was only six weeks,” Mr Breen said.

Mr Breen told Judge Catherine Staines that his client had once been in the throes of a heroin addiction and had been taking up to six bags a day. He was also “using cannabis as a relaxant”, Mr Breen said.

Mr Breen told the judge that Grehan had sought treatment for his addiction in 2010, but after spending a number of weeks in Cuan Mhuire addiction centre he was released and “fell into old friends.”

“Within six months he was back into doing what he used to do,” Mr Breen said.

Mr Breen went on to say that his client has been clean for nine months and he is now getting treatment in Cuan Mhuire with “a completely changed attitude”.

As Grehan was in breach of a suspended sentence, Judge Staines put the matter back to November 1 and she remanded him on continual bail for an up to date report from Cuan Mhuire. The judge described the offence as a serious matter.

“You know how awful addiction to heroin is and you’re selling it,” she rebuked Grehan.