A 54-year-old man, who has already served a seven-year sentence for drugs offences, has been given a 15-year sentence for similar offences at Limerick Circuit Court.

Patrick Scanlan, originally from Loughill in Co Limerick but also with an address in Jersey, had denied four charges relating to the importation and possession of 4kg of cannabis worth €79,000 in August 2013.

The drugs arrived in a package from Malaga in Spain into Shannon. Its journey to a house in Pallaskenry in Co Limerick  was then monitored by gardaí.

A man at a house in the village was induced into accepting the package on the pretence they were "bits and bobs" for Scanlan, who was thinking of opening a restaurant.

A jury convicted Scanlan on all four charges this afternoon.

The court heard that Scanlan had drug, drink and gambling addictions, but had never accumulated any personal wealth or property from drugs.

He had served seven years in prison when he was convicted in December 2000 for having for sale or supply £1.3m worth of cannabis.

During his time in prison, he trained hard and got temporary release to run two marathons to raise money for the Chernobyl Children's Project.

He was also the subject of an RTÉ 'Would You Believe' documentary when he was released from prison.

Sentencing him this afternoon, Judge Carroll Moran said there was a mandatory ten-year sentence for a second drugs offence of this nature, an indication of how severely these offences are to be dealt with, and of the serious harm done to society by drugs.

He said given all the circumstances of Scanlan's case, he imposed a 15-year sentence.