Dublin father-of-one jailed in connection with 10kg cannabis seizure

Jailed: Martin Whelan
Jailed: Martin Whelan

A man who previously served five years in the UK for importation of cocaine has been jailed for distribution of cannabis herb in Ireland.

Martin Whelan (31) was in the kitchen of a house when gardaí raided it and found about ten kilograms of cannabis herb. 

Whelan of The Square, Larchill, Coolock, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at Old Church Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin on February 25, 2014.

Judge Martin Nolan jailed him for five and a half years. He noted that Whelan has a previous conviction in the UK for his part in a serious drug running operation there.

Garda Paul Maxwell told Maurice Coffey BL, prosecuting, that during a search of the house they found boxes and vacuum pack bags containing cannabis herb. The estimated street value of all the drugs seized was €200,860.

Whelan and the sole occupier of the house, Paul Carroll (38), were in the kitchen at the time and Garda Maxwell said they were in the process of weighing out and bagging the drugs.

A weighing scales and a drugs “tick list” with names and amounts on it were also seized.

Whelan admitted that he was collecting cannabis to distribute to a number of people. He said he was due to collect 2.5 kg, which had an estimated value of €50,000.

The father of one told gardaí he owed a drug debt and had become involved in the operation since the previous Christmas in order to pay this off.

In 2008 a UK court imposed a ten year sentence on Whelan for the importation of 16 kg of cocaine. He was released in July 2013 after serving five years.

On Monday Judge Nolan imposed a sentence of three and a half years on Carroll, of Old Church Avenue. He backdated the sentence to February 2014.

Michael Lynn SC, defending, said that there was no evidence that Whelan was living a high life or had any assets. Judge Nolan agreed that Whelan was at the lower level of the drugs trade.