A Buncrana man who was found to be in possession of cannabis after having an epileptic fit on the way from voting in last month’s Presidential Election has avoided criminal conviction.

Martin Donegan, of Apartment 6, 43 Lower Main Street, was before Buncrana District Court charged with possession of a controlled drug at St Oran’s Road on October 26.

The defendant, aged 56, was also charged with threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour on the day in question, Inspector Goretti Sheridan told the court.

Judge Kelly heard that gardaí had been called to St Oran’s Road when a hitchhiker had started acting aggressively toward the person who gave him a lift.

The hitchhiker, who was Donegan, was subsequently arrested and found to be in possession of cannabis when searched at Buncrana Garda Station. Inspector Sheridan said Donegan had nine previous convictions.

Solicitor, Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn told the court that Donegan had gone to the polling station in Fahan to cast his vote in the Presidential Election.

Instead of getting a bus back into Buncrana, the defendant got a lift with a man and his child and during the trip took an epileptic fit in the car.

Not knowing what to do, the court heard, the driver pulled over and called the gardaí.

Mr Mac Lochlainn said that Donegan had no recollection of what had happened and wished to apologise. His solicitor added the cannabis found in Donegan’s possession was to assist him with his condition.

Donegan was given a chance to avoid a criminal conviction by making a €100 donation to St Vincent de Paul and Judge Kelly struck out the charges.



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