A judge sitting in
Carndonagh this week warned young people they may
increase their risk of developing schizophrenia if
they use cannabis.
Judge Derek McVeigh made his comments during the
case of 18-year old Aidan Doherty, Gortyarn, Carn,
who pleaded guilty to possession of €50 worth of
cannabis resin on October 22, 2006.
Gardai on patrol in the town on the night in
question said their attention was drawn to the
defendant as he "shuffled about" in the driver's
seat of a car. A search uncovered the illegal drugs,
the court was told.
Defence solicitor Geraldine Conaghan said her client
came from a good family and was an industrious
worker, earning €410 a week in his father's
plastering business. She said he had fallen in with
some people outside a nightclub which led to him
being in possession of the drug. She appealed to the
judge to apply the Probation Act in recognition of
the defendant's previous good character and lack of
convictions. But Judge McVeigh said the court viewed
the charge as a serious one. Referring to a recent
report he had read on the issue, he said: "Cannabis
can cause schizophrenia especially in young brains.
So it's a serious charge as far as the court is
concerned." However, he gave Ms. Conaghan the
benefit of her submission about her client's youth
and previous good character. He ordered the teenager
to pay €250 into the court poor box, to go to the
James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Carndonagh. He
applied the Probation Act, with no conviction