A Lifford father-of-three found with €120,000 worth of cannabis in a garage at his home has walked free from court.Jason Mahon leaving Letterkenny Circuit Court. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Jason Mahon, 39, was charged with the cultivation of cannabis for sale or supply at his home on 1st November, 2012. Gardai raided Mahon’s home and found 126 cannabis plants and 2 kilograms of dried cannabis in a “room within a room” at his house.However, he told Gardai that he was merely growing the plants to pay off a drug debt to a gang.Investigating Garda Sgt Niall Boyle told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he and other Gardai raided Mahon’s home at 3.15pm and Mahon co-operated fully.He found the usual fans and lamps associated with growing cannabis and Mahon mad a full admission when questioned at Letterkenny Garda station.The court heard how Mahon had left school very early but had educated himself and had even started his own refrigeration business.In 2009 that business fell apart and Mahon found himself with money troubles and turned to drink and drugs.Sgt Boyle said the accused had planned to grow just one crop of cannabis to pay off his debt but that one crop soon turned to two.The court heard that Mahon’s addictions had cost him his marriage and his three young children but that he was trying to rebuild his life and saw his children every second weekend.He had attended the Whiteoaks Treatment Centre and was now working part-time.Mahon’s mother gave evidence that her son had become a changed man since he succumbed to addictions but the only thing sh now wanted was her old son back.Judge Francis Comerford said the fact that such charges carried up to a 14 year prison sentence demonstrated how serious they were.However, he said he accepted that Mahon was pressurised and vulnerable when growing the cannabis.After consulting with the probation services, he sentenced Mahon to 160 hours community service in lieu of there years in prison.He also ordered him to enter a probation bond with the probation service and to follow their instructions for three years.On laving the court Mahon thanked the judge.A destruction order was also made for the seized cannabis.MAN FOUND WITH €120,000 OF CANNABIS IN GARAGE ESCAPES JAIL SENTENCE was last modified: April 29th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cannabiscourtDONGALdrugsGardaiJason MahonLifford
It’s been a festive day in the northwest Arctic community of Kivalina today as residents celebrate the grand opening of a new store. It’s an end to eight months of struggle with limited supplies after Kivalina’s store burned to the ground December 5th.Download AudioKivalina’s new store, owned by ANICA, celebrated its opener with hot dogs and hamburgers for all. Photo: Janet Mitchell.Janet Mitchell is Kivalina’s city administrator. She says the village doesn’t have firefighting equipment so men cut a hole in the ice of the local lagoon and pumped water on the fire, mainly to keep it from spreading to nearby teacher housing. Mitchell says a temporary store was established but it was a very small space.“They ran out of things very quick and that posed a difficulty for young babies or young families, families that need formula.”Mitchell says eggs cost more than $8 a dozen and pilot bread was $7 because supplies were so limited. Mitchell says the temporary store was in a storage structure built in the early 1900s and mainly sold staples of eggs, flour and rice. Mitchell says Seattle-based Alaska Native Industries Cooperative Association, or ANICA, owns the store. The new store is two or three times bigger than the old structure, she says, and today company officials flew in for the grand opening, serving hamburgers and hot dogs to the community.Kivalina’s population of 468 has a high percentage of young people. Janet Mitchell says close to half are 18 or under and many of the young people don’t care for traditional foods. Subsistence resources are also harder to get in a changing climate. Mitchell says the ice went out in early June and with it went the subsistence mainstay, ugruk, or bearded seal.Hot dogs, hamburgers and other foods are popular with Kivalina’s younger residents. Photo: Janet Mitchell.“It’s our winter food. That we didn’t have an opportunity to hunt the bearded seal. So it’s going to be a very, very lean year in terms of Native foods.”Mitchell says her large extended family normally harvests between 15 and 20 large adult seals. This year they got one small seal. She says less than 20 have been harvested by the entire community and they haven’t seen many caribou either. She says even older Kivalina residents who normally rely heavily on subsistence hunting will have to include more western food in their diet.“The store is going to be very important to have if we don’t have the capability of hunting the foods we normally do, we’re gonna need the foods from the store.”Although she prefers Native food, Mitchell says she buys supplies at places like Costco when she can get to Anchorage.“But we have families that number up to 20 in one household so that can be quite a challenge to keep them fed, especially when they don’t hunt.”Mitchell says her community continues to fight development to protect subsistence food but the store will be increasingly important in the future.Kivalina welcomes the opening of a new store. Photo: Janet Mitchell.