No show in court for Portlaoise drugs accused


A bench warrant has been issued for a Portlaoise man charged with drug dealing who failed to engage with community service and failed to turn up in court.

Eoghan Byrne (34), 71 Cherrygrove, Knockmay, Portlaoise, was charged with two counts of drug possession, and two counts of having drugs for sale or supply.

When the case first came before Portlaoise District Court on September 19, Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that at a garda checkpoint on the Abbeyleix Road in Portlaoise on May 15 this year, the accused was stopped driving at speed and the gardaí got a strong smell of cannabis from the vehicle.

The vehicle was searched and €267 in cash was found concealed under the driver’s seat, as well as seven deals of cannabis.

Sgt Kirby said there was €160 of cannabis herb and €12 of cannabis resin.

The accused had six previous convictions.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said his client’s family had been in financial difficulty and he fell behind on his bills, plus he had a longstanding cannabis difficulty.

Judge Catherine Staines imposed 200 hours’ community service in lieu of six months in prison, with the matter adjourned for a community service report.

When the case returned to court last week, Mr Meagher said his client was not present.

Judge Staines noted from a report on the accused that he had not kept any of his appointments as directed to do so by the court. A bench warrant was issued for the accused’s arrest.