Gardai discovered a massive haul of cannabis after responded to an incident in which a 40-year-old man survived an attempted assassination.
Gun victim Shane Mooney has pleaded guilty to three charges in relation to the cannabis herb seizure which was made after officers responded to a shooting attack on Mooney near Slane, Co Meath, at 9.45pm on Sunday, April 27, last year.
Mooney appeared before Trim Circuit Court on Wednesday of last week where sentencing was adjourned until late October.
It is expected that probation reports will be presented to the court at that hearing.
The Herald can reveal that Mooney, who was shot three times in a murder attempt, remains under threat from dangerous gangland thugs in relation to the drugs that gardai “randomly stumbled upon” after the brutal shooting.
“This is a highly unusual case in many ways, not least the fact that officers had no idea that Mr Mooney was storing drugs before he was shot,” a source said.
“The victim was a perfect person to store drugs because he was not on the garda radar at all and was based in a very rural location, which was very much offside. It has not yet been established whether the shooter was intending to rob the victim’s drugs when the shooting occurred.”
Mooney’s drugs case is by far his most serious interaction with the law as he previously had only minor convictions.
In January 1999, he was convicted of malicious damage and given a three-month suspended sentence.
In February 2000, he was convicted of assault and fined €2,500, and in October 2002 he was convicted of threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and ordered to pay €500 compensation.
“He is not a big player or anything like that and he would never have been caught if he had not been shot,” a source pointed out.
Gardai are following a number of different lines of enquiry in relation to Mooney’s shooting but suspect it may have been carried out by a gang with links in Drogheda, Co Louth and Swords in Dublin.
No arrests have been made in the case so far.
Mooney was hit twice in the upper body and once in the leg while at the door of the remote house in the townland of Dowth near Slane.
He was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where his injuries were described as serious and he spent a number of weeks being treated after the attack.
Mooney worked as a security guard and has worked at the Scotch Hall shopping centre, in Drogheda.
Gardai sealed off the two- storey secluded house, which is situated down a side road, and found the drugs just hours after the shooting.