Gardaí arrested and charged a man today in connection with the discovery of a very substantial cannabis-growing factory in Cork city.
Detective Garda Paul Ahern arrested Mark Downey, aged 33, of 3 The Lawn, Geann Na Rí, Tower, Blarney, County Cork, and charged him with four separate counts today.
One of the charges accuses Downey of cultivating plants of the genus cannabis at Unit 2, Hollyhill industrial estate, Cork, on January 25, 2009.
There was no garda objection to bail provided there was a substantial independent surety and a number of bail conditions.
Judge David Riordan remanded Downey in custody until January 25 at Cork District Court with consent to bail in his own bond of €5,000 and an independent surety of €5,000.
Downey is also required to sign daily at Gurranabraher garda station and reside at his home in Tower.
The case was adjourned on the application of Inspector Bill Duane for the preparation and service of a book of evidence.
As well as the charge of cultivating plants at the industrial unit, Downey is charged with possession of cannabis on Blarney Road, Cork, on January 25 and having the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply. He is also charged with having cannabis on his person when searched at Gurranabraher garda station on that date.
Det. Garda Ahern gave details of the allegations in the case saying: “We stopped a vehicle on Blarney Road and searched it under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is alleged that a quantity of cannabis was seized.
“In the course of that search a further quantity of cannabis and a substantial amount of money were found.
“It was indicated to us that the cannabis in the van was recently collected from Unit 2 in Hollyhill industrial estate. It is alleged that we found a large and very substantial cannabis-cultivating operation with 1,000 cannabis plants in various stages of cultivation and propagation. It started and ended in one building for the purpose of cultivating cannabis,” Det. Garda Ahern alleged.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the defendant’s whereabouts had been known to the gardaí to whom he was available since he first came to their attention a year ago. Det. Garda Ahern agreed.