Limerick learner driver found in possession of drugs

Newcastle West District Court.

A LIMERICK man who was stopped by Gardaí while driving unaccompanied as a learner driver was found to be in possession of drugs.

Michael Kennelly (33), of 48 Sherwood Avenue, Newcastle West, appeared before Newcastle West District Court accused of driving unaccompanied on a learner permit, non-display of L plates, and possession of drugs.

Kennelly was stopped by Gardaí while driving in Rathkeale. He was found to be the holder of a learner permit, with no accompanying driver. He also was not displaying L plates at the time, and had a bald front tyre.

Following a search of the car, Gardaí found a quantity of cannabis herb valued at €20. The accused pleaded guilty to the charges.

Investigating Gardaí gave evidence that the accused made admissions concerning the drugs, but in court, counsel for Kennelly, Kate Cussen, said that the drugs were not his and in fact belonged to a friend, but took responsibility for the fact that they were in his car.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Mr Kennelly has 22 previous convictions, including for possession of drugs, assault causing harm, trespass, and theft.

The court heard that on the night in question, Mr Kennelly had dropped his friend, who served as his accompanying driver, to Rathkeale and admitted to driving while unaccompanied.

Ms Cussen told the court that her client no longer uses drugs and the two drugs convictions related to dates in 2016 and 2018.

Judge John King remarked: “That’s the last time he was caught.”

The court was also told that Mr Kennelly is no longer using drugs and has “turned his life around”, since the incident.

Judge King ordered a probation report on Mr Kennelly, with urinalysis to be undertaken at the Court’s discretion but at Mr Kennelly’s own expense.

He adjourned the case until July 25.