Landscaper and exotic animal breeder appear in court in connection with €150,000 cocaine seizure

Joe Donogher (54) and Darren Shields (47) appeared at Dublin District Court on Saturday

A landscaper and an exotic animal breeder have been granted bail with strict conditions after gardaí charged them in connection with a €150,000 cocaine seizure in Dublin on Thursday.

Joe Donogher (54) and Darren Shields (47) appeared before Judge David McHugh at Dublin District Court on Saturday.

Mr Donogher, of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, Dublin, is accused of unlawful possession of cocaine and having it for sale or supply at Pearse Villas, Sallynoggin, on May 16th.

Co-defendant, Mr Shields of Cedar Court, Ballybrack, is accused of possessing cocaine and having it for sale or supply at Pearse Street, Sallynoggin, and also having part of the seizure in his van at the same location on May 16th.


They have not yet indicated how they will plead but faced objections to bail.

The court heard that Mr Donogher, a landscaper and father of four, made no reply to the charges.

Garda Philip Lavery told a contested bail hearing that he feared Mr Donogher would flee, believing the accused had a considerable amount of money.

He said the value of the overall seizure was €150,000.

However, in cross-examination with defence counsel Kevin O’Higgins, the court heard he had “a couple of hundred euros in his account”.

The judge set his bail at €3,000 and ordered him to surrender his passport, sign on daily at a Garda station, and not contact Mr Shields.

He told Mr Donogher to appear in court again on September 4th for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and a drugs forensic analysis certificate.

Garda Paul Brierly told the court that Mr Shields was allegedly caught handing over a 2kg package of suspected cocaine worth €140,000 and that he had a further €10,000 of cocaine in his van, along with scales, packaging and a mixing agent.

It was claimed that gardaí recovered €78,460 when they searched a shed at his home, and Garda Brierly said Mr Shields could face additional charges.

The officer feared Mr Shields was a flight risk, but defence solicitor Benedict O’Connor said his client had no passport, which the officer accepted.

The court heard that the defendant worked as a flooring and carpet fitter but also had a side job breeding and selling exotic animals, including parrots and reptiles.

The judge was satisfied he had ties to the jurisdiction and granted him €3,000 bail with conditions.

The judge remanded Mr Shields on bail to appear again on July 26th for the DPP’s directions and a forensic drug analysis certificate.