Two men further remanded over crystal meth seizure at Ballyseedy Garden Centre

Judge told that High Court bail applications being made in respect of Nathan McDonnell (43) and James Leen (41)

Two Co Kerry men charged in connection with the largest seizure of crystal meth recorded in the State, with an estimated value of €32.8 million, have been further remanded in custody.

Nathan McDonnell (43), of Ballyroe, Tralee, is charged that between October 27th, 2023 and February 12th, 2024, at Ballyseedy Garden Centre, Tralee, he had in his possession methylamphetamine with a market value of €13,000 or more for sale or supply.

Mr McDonnell, who the court previously heard replied “not guilty” when charged, is the chief executive of the Ballyseedy Group.

James Leen (41), of Pilgrim Hill, Kilmorna, Listowel, is charged with the same offence. Mr Leen is further charged that, on October 16th, 2023, at Cork Port, Ringaskiddy, he did import methylamphetamine with a value of €13,000 or more. He made no reply when charged with the offences, the court previously heard.


The two accused appeared via video link before Tralee District Court on Wednesday. The court was told by solicitors for the two men that bail applications were being made by their clients to the High Court.

Sgt Chris Manton said directions were not yet available from the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of Mr McDonnell, who is being held at Portlaoise Prison, due to the nature of the allegations and as further charges are being considered.

The court also heard that a book of evidence in respect of Mr Leen, who is being held at Cork Prison, was not yet ready.

Judge King remanded Mr McDonnell and Mr Leen in custody for two weeks to appear before the court via video link again on March 13th.

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