Cannabis worth €2m found hidden in fruit and vegetables at Dublin Port

Lorry driver denies involvement after X-ray scans revealed ‘sophisticated’ compartment hidden in truck compartment

Gardaí and customs officers seized almost €2 million of cannabis at Dublin Port after X-ray scans revealed a “sophisticated” compartment in a truck container carrying fruit and vegetables, a court has heard.

Lorry driver Paul Lennon (60) of The Punchbowl, Gort, Co Galway, was charged on Saturday with unlawful possession of drugs and having them for sale or supply.

The father of seven “vehemently” denies involvement, Judge Susan Fay heard at Dublin District Court on Monday.

She granted bail over garda objections but ordered an independent surety lodge €5,000 before Mr Lennon could be released under strict conditions.


Det Gavin Curran of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau opposed bail, citing the seriousness of the offence and flight risk concerns.

He alleged that gardaí had confidential information about a transnational organisation and that a truck from Cherbourg, France, contained a large quantity of controlled drugs.

X-ray scans of the truck showed “anomalies” in the container’s roof, a forty-foot concealment with 189 half-kilogram packages of cannabis.

Det Garda Curran said the total street value of the seizure was €1.9 million and was a “considerable financial loss” to a criminal gang with the means to facilitate evasion.

A legitimate consignment of fruit and vegetables was also collected from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The contested bail hearing was told Mr Lennon travelled in the truck from Rosslare to Dunkirk in Belgium. He made no admissions and told gardaí that the trailer had never been unhitched.

Cross-examined by defence solicitor Philip Denieffe, the detective agreed that the accused denied involvement or knowledge of the seizure. He added that unhitching the trailer was necessary to access the “sophisticated concealment”.

However, questioned further, he added that he did not have an engineer’s report. He said work required Mr Lennon to leave the country regularly, but gardaí had his passport.

Mr Lennon slept in the truck, but he had said there was a six-hour period when he was away from it, the court heard.

Pleading for bail, Mr Denieffe stressed his client had the presumption of innocence and “vehemently denies” the allegations. He submitted that Mr Lennon had multiple ties to the country.

He said the accused, who did not address the court, was getting social welfare and had no trappings of wealth.

Judge Fay set his bond at €100 but required €5,000 cash from an independent surety yet to be approved.

The judge granted legal aid and remanded Mr Lennon in custody with consent to bail to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.