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Courts

Uncut blocks of heroin from €305k drug seizure found ‘under paddling pool and in toy room’

Clive McCowan has yet to indicate a plea and will appear in court again on Friday.

GARDAÍ DISCOVERED BLOCKS of uncut heroin hidden under a child’s paddling pool and in a toy room during a €305k drug seizure at a house in Dublin, a court has heard.

Unemployed Clive McCowan, 44, of Millrace Park, Saggart, was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis, cocaine, and mainly heroin (diamorphine) and having the drugs for sale or supply at his home address on Thursday night.

He appeared before Judge Grainne Malone at Dublin District Court today when he was held on bail set in his bond of €5,000 with the requirement for a €15,000 independent surety.

Garda Sarah Flood of the Dublin Crime Response Team told a bail hearing that the married father of one made no reply when charged.

She alleged there were 2.16 kilos of heroin worth just over €300,000 and cited the seriousness of the case as she objected to bail.

The cannabis was valued at €500, and there was €1,500 worth of cocaine, she added.

She claimed that gardaí searched his home and discovered the suspected uncut heroin concealed in various locations.

“One was under a child’s paddling pool in the garden, and an uncut block of diamorphine was found in a children’s toy room, concealed in a bag,” Garda Flood told the court.

Judge Malone was told that the cocaine and cannabis were also packaged for sale or supply.

The court heard that gardaí examined his phone. “There was overwhelming evidence in relation to the sale of supply of these drugs, and the sourcing of the drugs, collection of cash for same, debt collecting and there is also evidence of discussing market values of the drugs for wholesale sale and supply,” the officer said, adding that he was caught “red-handed” in his house.

He was detained at Ronanstown Garda station, where officers interviewed him three times; the court heard he responded during the first two but made no comment during the third.

Gardaí could bring further charges but first need to obtain directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The officer said the heroin had still to be “cut down” and “would be worth more on the street”. She alleged that he was taking and giving directions about debt collection and sourcing drugs.

The court heard phone evidence had been recovered, and the garda had witness interference concerns.

She agreed with defence counsel Kevin McCrave that his client had the presumption of innocence and that his passport had been seized.

The barrister submitted that his client was welcome to reside at his family home and that refusing bail would result in a lengthy period in custody until his trial.

Judge Malone said he had the presumption of innocence, the case was “extremely serious,” and the garda had made a “compelling case” for the objections to bail, but she set terms with conditions.

She remanded Mr McCowan in custody with consent to bail, pending lodgement of money and the surety approval.

Judge Malone told him to provide a mobile phone number for contact and warned that he must sign on daily at a Garda station on release.

Legal aid was granted to Mr McCowan who spoke only to confirm his identity and that he was on social welfare.

He has yet to indicate a plea and will appear again on Friday.