A Garda surveillance on a telephone pole paid off, when a 43-year-old drug dealer was spotted leaving two plastic lunch boxes, containing 12 bags of cocaine, at the pole.
At Ennis District Court this week, Simon McDonagh of Aonach An Chláir, Clarecastle, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supplying cocaine, contrary to Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on March 14, 2017.
He also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine, contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Judge Patrick Durcan described the circumstances of the find as “fascinating” and said that he regarded the offence as very much at the upper end of Section 15 offences.
Giving an outline of the facts in the case, Inspector Tom Kennedy said that Detective Garda Gary Stack was conducting a surveillance operation in a rural area at Lissane West, outside Clarecastle.
He saw Simon McDonagh arrive and stoop down beside the telephone pole and place the two plastic lunch boxes there. McDonagh then went away.
Detective Stack waited to see if someone else would arrive at the scene and, when no one did, he went over to the pole and discovered the two lunch boxes, containing 12 bags of cocaine, with a street value of €660.
Inspector Kennedy said there were other dealing bags found in the lunch boxes. He said Mr McDonagh admitted to gardaí to selling the cocaine and that the proceeds were for to pay the cost of his own requirements for cocaine.
Inspector Kennedy said that Mr McDonagh left the cocaine at the telephone pole so that he could direct others to the area, if they required the cocaine.
He said that the area “came onto the garda radar, in the context of a garda operation”.
Inspector Kennedy told the court that Mr McDonagh has no previous convictions for drug offences.
Judge Durcan remanded Mr McDonagh on bail to reappear before the court on June 26 for a pre-sentence Probation Report.