Man accused of having cigarettes for sale

An Armagh man accused of having 20,000 cigarettes and 240 packets of loose tobacco for sale at the weekend in Cork without payment of duty told gardaí he was in Cork for a stag night but later said he was in the area for a road bowling match.

That was the evidence given yesterday by Det Sgt Patrick Murphy in respect of Paul Mackle, aged 51, of Clonmaine Rd, Loughall, Co Armagh, at Cork District Court.

However, Mr Mackle denied giving either account to gardaí. He said he did not tell them he was in Cork for either a stag or a bowling match. Det Sgt Murphy alleged that Mr Mackle had €20,000 worth of tobacco products on which there was €12,000 lost to the State in terms of unpaid duty.

Det Sgt Murphy objected to bail . Among grounds for objection was the fear that because he lived outside of the jurisdiction in the North, he would be a flight risk and would not attend court to face the case.

Daithí Ó Donnabháin, defence solicitor, said the accused could live with his brother in Co Monaghan and that he would sign on at Castleblaney Garda Station when required.

Det Sgt Murphy said the charge carried a five-year maximum sentence on conviction when dealt with by indictment.

Mr Ó Donnabháin suggested the DPP was more likely to direct the case be heard at Cork District Court and not at the circuit court.

Mm Mackle testified that he had a farm in Armagh and a second one in Monaghan and could live with his brother pending the case.

Insp Eileen Foster put it to Mr Mackle that he had told gardaí he was in Cork for a stag but later told them he was in Cork for bowling. He replied he did not give either explanation to gardaí and referred to the fact that he was not the only one in the car stopped by gardaí.

Judge Leo Malone refused bail on the basis of fears that he was a flight risk. He told Mr Mackle he could appeal that refusal of bail to the High Court. Judge Malone remanded him in custody until October 12.

He is charged with a count of keeping for sale or delivery 20,000 cigarettes and 240 packets of loose tobacco otherwise than in packets with an official stamp affixed at Sallybrook, Glanmire, Co Cork, on Saturday, September 26.

A co-accused, Francis McGale, aged 47, of Crossmore Green, Keady, Co Armagh, was released to the same date on cash bail of €3,000.


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