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*Photograph: John Mangan

The partner of a sitting Clare Sinn Fein TD has appeared in court in connection with a minor drugs possession charge.

By Gordon Deegan

At Kilrush District Court sitting in Ennis, partner of Clare TD, Violet-Anne Wynne (SF), John Montaine appeared in connection with the alleged illegal possession of cannabis at the family home at Pella Rd, Kilrush on February 11th this year.

Mr Montaine (39) was not required to appear concerning the possession charge under the Misuse of Drugs Act and solicitor, Patrick Moylan appeared on the man’s behalf before Judge Mary Larkin.

Legal aid was granted for Mr Moylan to act on behalf of Mr Montaine’s behalf after Mr Moylan said that he was a “suitable candidate”.

Mr Moylan said that the case could be adjourned to January 18th where the defence would either enter a guilty plea or seek a hearing date to contest the case.

Speaking on Wednesday, Deputy Wynne confirmed that Mr Montaine will be contesting the drug summons before the court. Deputy Wynne didn’t wish to comment further on the case as it remains before the court.

Mr Montaine has epilepsy and speaking generally on her partner’s use of medicinal cannabis to deal with his epilepsy, Deputy Wynne said that “come next March, John will be six years seizure free and that comes from him taking medicinal cannabis”.

During a phone interview, Deputy Wynne said there are positive effects for Mr Montaine in using medicinal cannabis and it has improved his quality of life “100% – without a doubt”.

The couple are currently expecting their sixth child together and the TCD psychology graduate said: “Before we were having to go see the GP in between seeing the neurologist. There was always some kind of issue – say John having a number of fits within the one month or losing teeth or suffering with severe migraine, but since John has been using the medicinal cannabis, he has had a better quality of life.

“It has also freed myself up. John would have been on disability allowance and I would have had to have been his carer but since using the medicinal cannabis, he doesn’t suffer from any of those issues any longer.”

Deputy Wynne said that Mr 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.”

Deputy Wynne said that a prior medication that was Mr Montaine was on reduced his calcium levels and bone density and that weakened his teeth.

She said: “When he would have a fit, the teeth would clash and break very, very easily and that brought about a lot of pain and trips to the dentist.”

Judge Larkin adjourned the case to January 18th.

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