Kenmare man avoids jail for possession of €34,000 worth of cannabis

A Kenmare man has avoided jail after being found with €34,000 worth of cannabis in his home.

46-year-old Aidan Kerins of Bridge Street, Kenmare said he was growing the plants for himself to treat his bipolar disorder.

He’s been given a suspended sentence at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.

Aidan Kerins was charged with cultivating and possession of cannabis at his home at Bridge Street, Kenmare on the 2nd of December 2014.

Gardaí searched his home after getting a tip off and found 20 mature cannabis plants valued at €16,000, 20 non-mature plants worth €18,000, and paraphernalia associated with cultivation.

The father-of-one told Gardaí he has bipolar disorder and uses the cannabis to self-medicate; Gardaí said they were satisfied it wasn’t for sale or supply.

Tralee Circuit Criminal Court was told he has a horticultural background and works as a chef, and not only smoked the cannabis, but also made cannabis oil and biscuits.

A psychiatric report confirmed he’s bipolar, while another from the Probation Service said he was at low risk of re-offending; he’s also on a regime with a Community Mental Health team.

Judge Thomas O’Donnell handed down an 18-month sentence suspended for 18 months.