The partner of newly Independent Clare TD, Violet Ann Wynne has pleaded guilty to drugs possession.
At a sitting of Kilrush District Court in Ennis, solicitor for John Montaine (39), Patrick Moylan, entered a guilty plea on behalf of his client for the illegal possession of cannabis at the family home at Pella Rd, Kilrush on February 11th, 2021.
Mr Moylan said Montaine was unable to come to court as he currently has Covid-19.
Montaine uses cannabis for medicinal purposes and no evidence was provided regarding the value of the drugs seized. The facts around the seizure will be heard in court in June.
Mr Moylan also entered a guilty plea on behalf of Montaine for driving with no insurance in a 192-registered black Ford Grand C-Max at Decomede in Lissycasey, Co Clare on February 8th, 2021.
Judge Larkin said what was before the court “is a serious matter”.
Mr Moylan told the court Montaine has 16 previous convictions, the bulk of which concerned road traffic matters.
Sgt Louis Moloney stated two of the previous convictions related to driving with no insurance.
Montaine has one previous conviction for drug possession where, at Kilrush District Court in November 2018, he was fined €100 after pleading guilty to possessing €30 worth of cannabis herb on August 10th, 2017 at his then home at Tullycrine Upper, Cooraclare, Co Clare.
In court on that occasion, Mr Moylan explained Montaine has been epileptic seizure-free since routinely using THC oil extracted from cannabis before he goes to bed each night.
Mr Moylan told the court Montaine has lost most of his teeth from epileptic seizures, further stated that the use of the THC oil is the only way that Montaine can control his seizures.
Mr Moylan said it was recommended to Montaine that he turn to cannabis herb to control his epileptic seizures when all conventional medicine had failed.
Mr Moylan said: “Mr Montaine has tried all of the normal medications without success.”
Concerning the new offences, Judge Larkin said: “I am going to consider community service, so I am going to refer Mr Montaine for a Probation Report as to suitability for community service.”
Mr Moylan said his client was not a suitable case for legal aid. He said: “It is not appropriate. Mr Montaine is not working, but his partner is. Mr Montaine hasn’t any financial wherewithal at all.”
Montaine’s guilty plea to drugs possession follows Independent TD Violent Ann Wynne resigning from Sinn Féin in controversial circumstances last month.
The mother of six resigned from Sinn Féin alleging “psychological warfare” and said her recent pregnancy had been used as a “further stick to beat me with”. Ms Wynne is to continue as an Independent TD for Clare.
Ms Wynne spoke out about her partner's drug possession when his case first came before court last November. She said that, come this month, “John will be six years seizure free and that comes from him taking medicinal cannabis”.
During a phone interview, Ms Wynne said there are positive effects for Montaine in using medicinal cannabis, and it has improved his quality of life “100 per cent - without a doubt”. Ms Wynne added Montaine “is only left with a handful of teeth at this stage” from his past seizures.
She stated: “It is a huge issue for John personally. That is something that has really affected his confidence. It has brought difficulties and issues for him and that is hard to watch for someone that you love.”
Judge Larkin has adjourned the case to June 15th for sentencing.