An Abbeyleix man who claimed he found a bag of drugs worth close to €500 at the Electric Picnic has been given a suspended sentence for drug dealing.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Alan Byrne (32), with an address at 54 Thornberry, Abbeyleix, was charged with having drugs for sale or supply, at Cosby Hall, Stradbally, on September 6, 2015.
Inspector Eamonn Curley gave evidence that the accused was detected at the Electric Picnic musical festival with a bag containing 40 ecstasy tablets valued €400, and six wraps of the drug valued at €60.
The accused made admissions to intending to sell the drugs.
He had previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said her client had found the bag of drugs and picked them up.
Insp Curley confirmed that the accused told gardaí he had been at a rave in the woods the night before and was sitting with a group, when he saw the bag on the ground.
He had the bag hidden in his trousers and was going to find out what they were, said Insp Curley, and the accused said he was going to sell the drugs to get money to travel home.
Ms Troy said her client had made an incredibly foolish and stupid mistake to pick the drugs up.
She said he does have some addiction issues, but he was dealing with these and going regularly to an addiction counsellor.
He started on 90ml of methadone a day and is now down to 10ml of methadone, and was hoping to be methadone-free very shortly, said Ms Troy.
Ms Troy said the accused was a qualified plasterer and mechanic.
Judge Catherine Staines imposed community service, but after the accused was assessed by the probation officer he was found to have some physical issues, including a problem with his shoulder which needed to be checked by his doctor.
Judge Staines imposed ten months in prison, suspended for two years on the accused's own bond of €100.
The judge warned the accused that if he came before the court again on drugs charges he could go to prison.